Tuesday, October 23, 2012

United Buddy Bears

Bears invaded Paris this past week... Not real ones of course, but the United Buddy Bears, fiberglass painted sculptures that aim at promoting peace in the world (no less!). Each of them (140!) represent a country and, as such, were decorated by a local artist. After being first shown in Berlin in 2002, they have been everywhere:  Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Pyongyang.... and as of October 12, 2012 Paris, and more precisely the Champs de Mars, by the Eiffel Tower! Pretty cool actually. I photographed half of them, so see for yourself in this little video



  2. Bear-y cute picture (and idea).

  3. I feel so much more peaceful now. I don't know if I can bear it. It's nice that they have bears for so many countries. Yours, mine and ours. (I really couldn't resist.)

  4. Fun video. And looks like a lot of people had a good time doing "bear decorations".
    Also, always enjoy seeing the Eiffel Tower!

  5. Tiens, je les ai vus, répartis dans la ville, à Berlin en juin dernier. Je croyais que c'était une expo locale - puisque l'ours est le symbole de Berlin - et j'apprends grâce à vous que pas du tout ! merci pour l'info et l'explication, 4 mois plus tard, de mon interrogation ;-)

  6. Un vrai plaisir pour le photographe ! ;)

  7. @Marnie. Oui effectivement l'ours est l'emblême de Berlin - j'imagine que c'est la raison pour laquelle ils ont choisi ça pour ce "mouvement". Un peu comme les vaches il y a quelques années je me souviens.

  8. Cool idea. Same principle as the cows I've seen a few years ago.
    The bears, here, make me think of the chinese good luck cats : Front paws in the air I suppose.

  9. Looks like 140 bears all having a Rocky Balboa moment at the same time.

    Nice shots !

  10. Buddy Bear goes into a bar.
    The barman asks him what he wants to drink.
    Buddy says, "A beer and a....."
    Buddy thinks for a few minutes.
    ".....and a coke."
    The barman asks, "Why the big pause?"
    "Born with 'em," replies Buddy.

    Sorry, very old joke.

  11. Regarding the hands (paws) in the air:

    At work here all the lights went out one day. Many people were talking, wondering what to do. An elderly Chinese gentleman kept repeating: "Hold hand up in air. Hold hands up in air." Eventually, we all put our hands over our heads. The lights came back on. I heard him explain, "Confucius say many hands make light work."

  12. Love the bears, but now I have Jimmy Buffett's "God's Own Drunk" going through my head.

    I was drunk
    I wasn't knee crawlin', slip slidin', Reggie Youngin'
    Commode huggin' drunk

    I was God's own drunk and a fearless man
    And that's when I first saw the bear
    He was a Kodiak lookin' fella `bout nineteen feet tall
    He rambled up over the hill
    expectin' me to do one of two things,
    Flip or fly, I didn't do either one
    It hung him up


  13. I said "Mr. Bear, You know in the eyes of the Lord
    we're both beasts when it comes right down to it
    So I want you to be my buddy, Buddy bear"
    So I took ole' buddy bear by his island size paw
    and I led him over to the still
    He's a sniffin' around that thing cause
    he's smellin' somethin' good
    I gave him one of them jugs of honey dew vine water
    He downed it up right
    Looked like one of them damn bears in the circus
    Sippin' sasparilly in the moonlight
    I gave him another'n an another'n an another'n
    For I knew it he downed eight of them
    and commenced to doin' the bear dance
    Two snips, a snort, a fly turn, and a grunt
    It was so simple like the jitter bug
    It plum evaded me

  14. Er Drummond, sorry but I did not get this one!

    Have you seen the Statue of liberty bear in the video. I love it and hesitated posting it instead of the photo I posted.

  15. The Statue of Liberty bear is my fave! (Of course—and I guess they'll make it to NYC one of these days.) This is a great concept—and best of all is that they've raised almost 2 million euros for UNICEF.

  16. Eric,
    "Why the big pause?"
    sounds like:
    "Why the big paws?"

    Bears have big paws. :-)

    Bad joke.

  17. @Drummond. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! OK. Then yes, I understand now. Of course when you have to explain a joke like this it kinda kill the "ha ha" effect, but I'm sure it would have been funny if I had understood it when I read it (gee I'm not sure I managed the tense right in this sentence!)

  18. I kinda like it a lot Drummond with the explanation because I too did not get it first :) And now that's excellent!!!
    Thank you for the big smile.

    Eric, superbe video !
    I like it too very much. So many things I learn on this blog, you know...

  19. Eric, I somehow overlooked this in my email box. So glad I finally saw it. Thank you for the sweet video, too. I shared it on my Facebook FrenchKissed page:)

  20. Merci Trishia, I'm going to check that out. These bears are very successful I can see!

  21. Thank you Jeff for that peculiar story of the hands in the air. I will remember it.

    Thank you Drummond for that very "British" sense of hunour. Or is it "Scottish" or "Irish" ? It is appreciated anyways. A french-speaking chap like me has to think about it twice.

  22. Love this one Eric - my hobby used to be going around to different cities in the US, starting with Chicago, and taking photos of the Cows on Parade - even got to Paris in 2006 to take pics of the cows you had there. I'm wondering if you know how long these bears will be in Paris?? Would LOVE to get on a plane and come to see them!

  23. Answered my own question - just clicked on the United Buddy Bears link and discovered that they will be in Paris until mid November - going to go check air fares!!!

  24. They are so awesome! Spotted them from the top of the Eiffel Tower (how the heck I missed them from the ground, I have no idea - I was so intent on climbing the Eiffel Tower that it was only when I got to the top that I saw the crowds! Like your video - they are some pretty funky bears!