| May 29, 2008
Art imitates life: People are ‘enclosed’ at Midgett Realty
By IRENE NOLAN
Midgett Realty’s Hatteras office set up a “protected human enclosure” over the Memorial Day weekend.
“Our staff came up with the idea of the ‘Protected Human
Enclosure’ as a way to visually represent the feelings of
frustration and helplessness we all share about what is being done to
our way of life here on the island,” says Beth Midgett, property
manager in Hatteras.
Midgett says the “nest-in” for freedom is modeled after the “sit-in” protests of the past.
“Not only do we feel powerless to help ourselves,” she
says, “but we feel powerless to help our guests and homeowners
also. They are very shocked and upset when they see the ‘on the
ground’ results of the consent decree. None of us have had
a meaningful voice in any of what has occurred, yet we have to live the
consequences. Stress levels are very high as all of us worry
about the future of our Island and our protest is helping us relieve
some of that stress in a very small way.
The protected human enclosure is symbolically fenced in with
string. Inside are chairs, coolers, beach toys, and other
creature comforts. The area is surrounded by signs warning pedestrians,
surfers, pets, and others to stay out.
One sign reads, “Area Closed. Human Use Area.
Violators of closure areas will be prosecuted to the fullest extent
possible by the new owners of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Recreational Area – the Defenders of Wildlife and the National
“We were looking for a way to show the absurdity of the
situation on what we feel is a very serious weekend, Memorial
Day,” says Midgett, “during which all citizens pause to
recognize those who have died protecting the rights listed in our
Constitution. The Constitution outlines the rights of all human
citizens off the United States of America.”
“Some times of the day,” she says, “our ‘human
nests’ will be manned. Other times our nests may be abandoned. It
is performance art, and it is evolving all of the time.”
Midgett says local young people have worked on the project and sat in
the area over the weekend, and “lots and lots” of visitors
have shown their support by "Honking to save our Seashore."
She says the original idea was to have the “human
enclosure” just for Memorial Day weekend, but it’s still up
and will probably stay there.
She reports the company is looking for a “Big Bird”
costume, maybe for July 4 weekend. Big Bird, of course, will have to
stay outside the human enclosure.