Every year in New Zealand, the competition for the bird of the year gives rise to lively debates. For example, last year the Bird of the Year award went to a bat, which received many votes because it is endangered. Many New Zealanders are still furious about this situation (I haven't got over it myself). This year the kakapo, a parrot that has won the competition TWICE, was dropped from the nominations list, angering some who believe it is a manifestation of a New Zealand allergy towards those who are successful (known as the "tall poppy syndrome"). Personally, I find it quite nice that those who are successful resist the temptation to be big-headed, but hey, everyone has their own point of view. To add to the drama, a New Zealander has just threatened the organisers of the competition to sue them, if they do not add to the list of birds, those who have already disappeared. In short, the violence of the debates goes far beyond what can be seen during election campaigns. Anyway, I decided to vote this year, a real torture (we are entitled to 5 votes). I would like the tui to win because of the beauty of its song, the color of its feathers and its white pom poms, but I also like the fan tail in the photo above, the albatross (the most mooving), the pukeko (the most distinctive with its large legs and red beak) and the white heron, because it is endangered, but it took me a long time to arrive at the final selection.
In 2019, for a short period ot time, I thought I only had a few months to live. I am still here, but everything has changed.
*inspired by Autoportrait, from Edouard Levé, found at the book fair in Nelson in 2020.