02 Feb 2015
Lao PDR plans Elephant Caravan cultural project to celebrate UNESCO 20th anniversary
The Elephant Caravan is a project which combines an elephant trek across rural and urban Laos with educational and conservation activities for village children, and which terminates in an artistic and cultural festival celebrating Luang Prabang's 20 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The caravan and the cultural festival will be organised by the provinces of Luang Prabang and Xayaboury, in partnership with the Elephant Conservation Centre, and with the support of the French NGO “Des Elephants & Des Hommes" and the Lao-based "Community Learning International".
Over the course of a month and a half (November 30 - December 17 2015), the elephant caravan will walk 630 km, from Xayaboury to Luang Prabang. The caravan will be accompanied by theatrical and musical performers, as well as educational staff, making it a kind of multi-cultural roadshow. As the caravan stops in each village en route, there will be daily public performances to engage local residents and educate children about elephant conservation. The story will revolve around the elephant, as an ambassador of biodiversity and cultural diversity, of the cultural heritage of Laos and the biological heritage of Humanity.
In Luang Prabang, the caravan will join the celebrations for the World Heritage anniversary (7-10 December). Twenty elephants will enter a majestic procession into the ancient city, amidst the installations and performances of Lao and international artists.
Read full details of the project, together with artists and contact organisations here
A parallel project for a Myanmar Elephant Festival in 2015, with a light show festival in Yangon involving French artists, is also announced in the Myanmar Times