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Who's afraid of the forest?

Turns out almost no one. The forest of the IFRC park is seen as an oasis in an urban terrain - a rare concentration of greenery that can provide cool solace in the increasingly hot summers that have become a reality in this region. It also provides a spot for people to come for quiet and peace escaping a busy noisy workday. Through most of our conversations with local residents and staff alike, the most common sentiment was to let the forest be, to let it remain as untouched as possible.

At the same time as urban planning protocol demands, the issue of safety and security is an important concern and forested areas evoke red signals. Mainly because they are often liminal spaces, existing between transit points. They tend to be dark at night, evoking a sense of fear because that is how most people are exposed to the narrative of 'the forest.'

When we focused on the question of safety for this video, most respondents shrugged. They pointed out this was not simply a forest but a forest in Geneva. There were humorous asides about some people coming from urban places in the world which were far more dangerous than any forest! Some said they walked through it at any given time without a modicum of fear.

All in all - danger was not a factor that got underlined. There were some concerns about lighting since people use the area to walk through at night.There were other non-safety related issues raised such as the forest being abused as a site of waste disposal - but fear was not the dominant emotion that surfaced.

Hear people's responses in this video and please send in further comments and feedback!

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