Scenes from the garden of wild things

Virginia Madsen (Producer)

Research output: Non-traditional research outputDigital or Visual products


Where has the Wild gone? What do we lose when the wild things vanish, leaving only a faint trace of fear in our dreams?

The Menagerie of the Jardins des Plants in the heart of Paris is the oldest zoo in Europe. The contemporary zoo seeks to create the illusion of a national environment, in which the spectator might imagine the captive animals somehow "at home". Yet the Paris Menagerie still retains the self-conscious artifice of an earlier era. The animals are framed by their enclosures much as paintings in a gallery, framed specimens of ‘the wild’.

At first the Menagerie seems archaic, a kind of prison. But perhaps the sadness of the animals is more a projection of a sense of loss felt by the spectator - the loss of our own wildness, our own sense of being part of the natural world.

In this meditative feature, we meet the people and the animals who inhabit this strange zoo in the middle of Paris.

Scenes from the Garden of The Wild Things was written by Virginia Madsen and produced by Virginia Madsen and Tony Macgregor.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherABC Radio National
Media of outputOnline
Size54 minutes
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2013


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