ONCE AROUND THE SUN WITH THE CALANDA WOLVES
A web-documentary by Peter A. Dettling © 2018 all rights reserved
In 2012 an extraordinary event took place when six wolf pups were born in a hidden den located high on a mountain overlooking Chur, the capital of the Swiss Canton Graubünden. The birth of these wild wolves at the Calanda was the first in Switzerland in over 150 years. Up to that remarkable year only lone wolves occasionally found their way into the Swiss Alps after they had been extirpated in the late 19th century. In 2013, I decided to return from Canada to Switzerland, the country of my birth, to document this unfolding story. In a way it was a continuation of my personal Swiss wolf journey that started in the mid 1990s when I painted a watercolour depicting a lone wolf that finds his way back onto Swiss soil. Fiction became reality in 1995 when the first wild canid was confirmed to have arrived in the Swiss Alps from neighbouring Italy. Eleven years later I got eye to eye with one such lone wolf and was able to capture one of the very first photographs of a wild wolf in the Swiss Alps. The 2012 news of the first wolf family triggered a desire to pick up my personal Swiss wolf trail once more. After 16 months of field work (spread out over three-and-a-half years), I had enough material to create this one-year web-documentary miniseries divided into 52 episodes. The goal was to create a complex, thought provoking and visually stunning miniseries that not only gives an in-depth look at the world of the Swiss wolves but that also shows the rhythms and patterns of the natural world itself. It was also important to portray how one of the wealthiest nations on earth is coping with the return of Canis lupus, the great hunter. I hope you enjoy it!