Bogotá becomes “zoolidarious” with Capital Animal

Bogotanos take great pride in their two-wheeling culture, but can the same be said for their four-legged friends?

For the next two months, the Colombian capital becomes Capital Animal with head to tail activities that are designed to raise awareness of humane treatment towards animals, how to adopt a pet and care for it, and all-things “Zoolidarious” – from talks to walks.

A project of the District Institute of Participation and Community Action (IDPAC), Bogotá’s Capital Animal is based on a Madrid initiative that began in 2016 to educate the public regarding animal rights within a cultural context. But, the home version is more extensive than its Spanish counterpart, running until the end of December with a host of activities, including the exhibition “Sanctuaries” in which animals are the lead protagonists by graphic artist Joaquín Secall.

Secall is a magazine illustrator based in Madrid and a regular contributor to the county’s largest daily El País. He conquers the hearts of young people every week with a humor section called La Tira. The exhibition is now on display at the Parque Bicentenario (Cra 7 with Calle 26) facing the Modern Art Museum of Bogotá – MAMBO.

The Virgilio Barco Library (Calle 63 with Cra) is another venue that has been selected for Capital Animal where the public can listen to free concerts alongside their Fidos, Benjis and Lassies. Birds are also part of this city-wide animal tribute with the exhibition Ornithography: The hidden life of birds, shown in the same educational venue, and consisting of photographs, drawings and paintings by art collectives.

One of the novelties of this first-ever all animal event is the Vegan Route that begins on the Calle 140 and ends at a vegan restaurant one block from Plaza de Bolívar. Eighteen establishments have been included in a gastronomic circuit that celebrates plant-based diets and healthy foods. Among the venues participating are Make Out (Cra 9 No.81-18); Soul Veggie (Calle 90 No. 17-48); De Raíz (Calle 65-No.5-70); El Verdugo (Cra 4 No.54-81); Quinua y Amaranto (Calle 11 No.2-95) among others.

Movies are inclusive and therefore IDPAC is hosting a cinema cycle with screenings on Dec 1, 4, 5 and 6 at the Cinemateca Distrital, Villamayor theater and Virgilio Barco Library. Check the event schedule for times and which films will be shown: www.participacionbogota.gov.co

The way animals are portrayed in art has not historically always been humane. Spanish artist Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) was so fascinated with bullfighting that he once painted himself as a matador. A selection of his famous bullfighting series La Tauromaquia will be shown outdoors in Parque Tunal, and an exhibition that is especially poignant for audiences as it opens during a year in which the country’s high court ruled a return to bullfighting despite opposition by animal rights groups and the mayoralty.