34 The Colonnades
Performances last 20 minutes.
Dung beetles co-existed with dinosaurs over a hundred million years ago, probably munching their droppings. They were the scarabs worshipped by ancient Egyptians as symbols of reincarnation.
Cleaners and recyclers, essential to life on earth, these beetles transform dung into nourishment, aerating the soil and countering climate change by burying carbon. Two dung beetles roam the streets of Liverpool accompanied by ethereal music, sharing stories with the public, posing questions about life and dung. They may ask for help – at night they steer their course by the Milky Way, but this will be hard in a city drowned in light pollution. They also have to make sure no other creature steals their booty – dung is a precious and sought-after resource. Is there much difference between us and them? In the great cosmic dance, are we all equal?
Insects are so often invisible to humans, especially in cities, yet they are part of the rich fabric of life on which we all depend, linking past and present, earth and universe. We would do well to learn from them. ‘The Dung Beetles’ Cosmic Journey’ is a parable of hope; humans are part of life – and life is transformation.