Artivists take to the seas to save the Arctic
My name is Mike and was one of the three judges of the #SaveTheArctic poster competition. What an honour it has been! We’ve just chosen the top entries and soon I will meet the three lucky young winners; Anastasia, 21, from Russia; Sara, 18, from Spain; and Emile, 20, from Canada. It will be my pleasure, as captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, to welcome them on board for a voyage to the Arctic where the sun will never set.
I followed the competition closely and can confidently say that I’ve seen every single one of the over 2000 original posters from people in 75 countries around the world. I’ve tweeted some of my favourites along the way, like Bear Walks into a Bar.
There were other funny ones – like giraffes poking their heads above the rising sea level. Some dramatically scary but powerful entries – a fist of dollars throttling a polar bear. Life of Pi made it there in a lifeboat filled with Arctic mammals. A few displaced penguins made it to the Arctic – I had to point them South. It was really difficult to choose amongst the creative images because each one left impressions that a thousand scientific journals could not do. I was exposed to “artivism”.
M. K. Asante, author of It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop describes the artivist: The artivist (artist + activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression – by any medium necessary. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation.
While I was moved by many of the posters in the contest, it was Sara, Anastasiya, and Emile that captured this so strongly that I was swept into the feeling of their work, and my eyes kept returning their pieces.
The latest season in the saga of the Arctic is about to begin and there is always something you can do to help. You don’t have to join the boat to be part of the crew. With social media you can amplify everything and together we can #SaveTheArctic.
View a gallery of some of the top 55 posters at Save The Arctic.
Mike Fincken has been sailing with Greenpeace for over 20 years. This summer he captains Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship to Svalbard, Norway to document the effects of destructive fishing in the Arctic.
Source: Green peace