Creative protests: say it with art

October 15, 2018


Climate change is a big and serious problem – and we all need to get on with tackling it – quick! So some imaginative climate activists have been dreaming up ways to get everybody on board. Here are five of our fave examples of climate campaigners getting creative and making sure their message is heard.

1. Requiem for Arctic Ice

In 2015, oil company Shell were preparing to drill for oil under the Arctic sea ice. Greenpeace organised a month of musical protests to celebrate the beauty of the Arctic and urge Shell to reconsider. Every morning musicians performed a specially composed Requiem for Arctic Ice outside Shell’s HQ - from a ten-piece brass band to a string quartet. The idea was to capture the hearts and minds of Shell workers heading into the office and encourage them to stop the damaging plan. Just a few months later, Shell agreed to shelve their plans to drill in the Arctic!

2. Cough for Coal

Yes, these are a pair of giant inflatable lungs, and yes, they can really breathe. The lungs get packed down into a suitcase go on protests against coal power around the world. They not only symbolise our own lungs, which are damaged by the air pollution coal creates, but also the lungs of the planet struggling to breathe because of climate change. Clever.

3. Turbine snuck into the Tate

One July day in 2012, 100 art activists walked into the Tate Modern gallery in London. They were carrying a 16.5m, 1.5-tonne wind turbine blade. They passed the security guards and installed the turbine in the gallery’s Turbine Hall. The guerrilla art performance was designed to draw attention to the Tate’s relationship with oil company BP. The activists gave the piece to the Tate to be part of their permanent collection, but their board sadly declined.

4. Green hearts show the planet some love

Last Valentine’s Day, millions of climate fans turned red hearts green. The idea was to make and then wear a green heart to Show the Love for the places, people, and life we each want to protect from climate change. And people really got creative – with baking, sewing, knitting and collages! MPs of all parties, including the energy and the environment ministers, wanted to join the fun too showing their support for action on climate change too. To find out more check out The Climate Coalition and join one of the biggest conversations about climate change this country has ever seen.

5. Mermaids take over the British Museum

Imagine the British Museum’s Grand Court filled with 200 mermaids, pirates and a sea monster. That’s exactly what this group of activists did one Sunday afternoon. Fascinated onlookers watched a play unfold all about oil sponsorship of the museums latest exhibition - ironically called Sunken Cities. There were sea shanties and glitter and at the end, someone got eaten by a 40ft sea monster!

You can get crafty too!

If you’re feeling inspired by these arty activist stunts why not check out the wonderful Sarah Corbett at the Craftivist Collective who’s got many fabulous tips and tools to help get you started on your craftivism journey.

This blog post was written by our climate activist pals over at 10:10.