08 January 2010

A garden to be cultivated

A garden to be cultivated
Ryan P. Wilson

Symbiosis isn’t a word you hear thrown around very often, but to one specific point in Walt Disney World it has an important place in history. The Land pavilion in Epcot was created with, and lives with the daily reminder of, Symbiosis.

When EPCOT Center opened in 1982, The Land featured a film entitled Symbiosis. Camera crews had scoured the globe to find footage of agriculture at work. Throughout the film we are shown how some technological advancements of the past have been in direct conflict the needs of the planet and all of its inhabitants. However, Symbiosis goes on to present the viewer with hope, with new technologies and education we have the choice as to what the future holds for the planet, its creatures, its plantlife, and ourselves. In 1995, however, the film was removed to make way for the animation infused Circle of Life. However, some of the gorgeous shots from the original film remained and found new life in the second feature.

Today, just outside the entrance to the pavilion, after guests have climb that long sloping hill, there is an icon reminding everyone of the message of symbiosis, both the film and the philosophy. It states:


“Symbiotic relationships mean creative partnerships. The earth is to be seen neither as an ecosystem to be preserved unchanged nor as a quarry to be exploited for selfish and short-range economic reasons, but as a garden to be cultivated for the development of its own potentialities of the human adventure. The goal of this relationship is not the maintenance of the status quo, but the emergence of new phenomena and new values.”

René Dubos – (1901 - 1982)
Pulitzer Prize recipient
Rockefeller University

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