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  • Writer's pictureIrene Canovi

Earth without art is just eh!

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

It might occur that you saw a video of some activist wearing "just stop oil" t-shits throwing food on masterpieces such as Van Gogh's Sunflower or throwing mashed potatoes at the Claude Monet painting 'Les Meules' or the cake on Monalisa, and I can go on and on. The question is many. Why they are doing that? And is it really helping the planet? Are they ruining the paintings? Why these people are attacking museums and precious artworks?

These people are part of an activist group called JUST STOP OIL that is organizing a protest to "ensure that the government commits to ending all new licenses and consents for the exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels in the UK". from

Some of their protesters might gone to far by 'attacking' priceless masterpieces.

"iconoclasm: this is the term that means 'to destroy icons' — it has applied, in the past, to religiously motivated destruction of works of art, but also to nonconformists who challenge beliefs or institutions. In both cases, the painting was behind glass, and there was no damage to the van Gogh or the Monet.
"These acts were not destruction of art. But in both cases they were a challenge to beliefs and institutions, in current financial systems: one of the tomato soup-throwers said that they were doing it to call attention to 'the current cost of living crisis in the UK with growing concerns about the cost of energy' and to urge leaders to invest in renewable energy."

In my opinion, they are fighting for a good reason but in the wrong way. Yes their actions led to something, we started talking about this problem however I think the method used is quite drastic and ART did not harm anyone.

They managed to start a conversation on the topic. However, there are many different ways to protest. just by putting together the world art and activism we have ARTIVISM which form of protest using art. So people instead of acting against art it could produce more.

Artivism is the act of using art as a means to protest discontent. It is a portmanteau word combining art and activism. M.K Asante writes in “It’s Bigger than Hip Hop”: “The artivist (artist + activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression—by any medium necessary. The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation” (Asante, 2009) Artivism embraces art in its multiple forms and political intentions, it opens up new forms of disobedience and actions. It uses creativity to raise awareness. Artivists consider that changes start from individual everyday acts. Artists and activists join forces together to obtain a socially conscious, honest, comprehensive, and sustainable world.

From Irene Canovi

Artivism and Visual protest are often used in battles against climate change a great example is Extinction Rebellion. Extinction Rebellion is a decentralized, international, and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Now the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference began COP27 just started last Sunday, November 6, in Sharm el-Sheikh. Where the United Nation are debating the future of the world and finding a solution to global warming. The irony is that all the politicians at the conference are arriving in their fancy private jet (see picture below) how can a bunch of super-rich elite people tell the world how to act and prevent pollution? They should be the first to save up gas and find a more eco-friendly solution to move around. I'm curious about the outcome of the conference.

What's your opinion about this way of protesting ? Art will help? Did you like my illustration? get the printable version in 70x70cm go to my Etsy store and purchase

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