Just of George street in central Sydney, in a small alley called Angel Place, you will find this beautiful art installation called Forgotten songs.
The sight of the many birdcages draws our attention and invite us to walk down the alley from the busy street above. As we come closer, we hear birdsong between the big buildings. We stop and listen, it is mesmerizing to hear these peaceful sounds, and it creates a green space although not a tree nor a bird is in sight. We admire the many beautiful and empty cages and take in the moment.
A sign on the street explains:
These recordings are from bird species that once sang in central Sydney, before Europeans settled and gradually forced them away. Some of these birds can still be heard on the city margins where they find food and shelter in native vegetations.
We think about how important our feathered friends are and shiver thinking of life without them. I love birds and this message becomes very strong, sad and beautiful at the same time.
Thankfully you still see many birds in Sydney, wonderful strange birds that seem very adapted to urban life. Some maybe a little too much… (you know the ones). But birds are still very much a part of the city experience. Hopefully, better considerations are taken today regarding the preservation of species than back in the days. Let’s make sure the beautiful, odd-looking, exotic birds that we see now will continue to be a part of the city and sing their songs for us, for decades to come.
The cages as beautiful as they are, are best left empty. Birds should always fly free.