Over 600 Fake Advertising Posters Challenge Corporate Takeover of COP21 Climate Talks

PARIS:  Two days before the launch of the UN COP21 Climate Conference, 600 posters were installed in outdoor media spaces across Paris. 82 Artists from 19 different countries made artworks to challenge the corporate takeover of COP21 and to reveal the connections between advertising, the promotion of consumerism and climate change. More images on project website at Brandalism.org.uk

From the Brandelism Press Release:

Over 600 fake adverts denounce hypocrisy of the COP21 Paris climate talks

Over 600 artworks critiquing the corporate takeover of the COP21 climatetalks were installed in advertising spaces across Paris this weekend -ahead of the United Nations summit beginning Monday 30 November.

Amidst the French state of emergency banning all public gatheringsfollowing the terrorist attacks on 13 November in Paris, the ‘Brandalism‘ project has worked with Parisians to insert unauthorised artworks across the city that aim to highlight the links between advertising, consumerism, fossil fuel dependency and climate change. [1]

The artworks were placed in advertising spaces owned by JC Decaux -one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising firms and an officialsponsor to the COP21 climate talks.Other prominent corporate sponsors of the climate talks such as AirFrance, GDF Suez (Engie) and Dow Chemicals are parodied in the posters -whilst heads of state such as Francois Hollande, David Cameron, BarackObama, Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abi also feature.

The artworks were created by over 80 renowned artists from 19 countries across the worldincluding Neta Harari, Jimmy Cauty, Banksy-collaborator Paul Insect,Escif and Kennard Phillips – many of whom featured at Banksy’s Dismalandexhibition in England this summer. [2]

Joe Elan from Brandalism said, “By sponsoring the climate talks, majorpolluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselvesas part of the solution – when actually they are part of the problem.”

Elan continued, “We are taking their spaces back because we want tochallenge the role advertising plays in promoting unsustainableconsumerism. Because the advertising industry force feeds our desires for products created from fossil fuels, they are intimatelyconnected to causing climate change. As is the case with the Climatetalks and their corporate sponsored events, outdoor advertising ensuresthat those with the most amount of money are able to ensure that theirvoices get heard above all else.” The art works were installed on ‘BlackFriday’ or ‘Vendredi Noir’; the most hectic and competitive shopping day of the year [3].

Other posters called on people to take to the streets as part of the”Climate Games” – the world’s largest disobedient adventure game [4] as well as protesting the “Solutions 21” conference – a large corporate exposition being held at the Grand Palais during the climate talks [5].

Bill Posters from Brandalism said “Following the tragic events on 13th November in Paris, the government has chosen to ban the big civilsociety mobilisations – but big business events can continue. The multinationals responsible for climate change can keep greenwashing their destructive business models, but the communities directly impacted by them are silenced. It’s now more important than ever to call outtheir lies and speak truth to power. We call on people to take to thestreets during the COP21 to confront the fossil fuel industry. We cannotleave the climate talks in the hands of politicians and corporatelobbyists who created this mess in the first place.”

NOTES:

[1] Brandalism has previously organised two of the world’s largest’subvertising’ campaigns across different cities in the UK (in 2012 and2014) involving prominent artists such as Ron English, Robert Montgomeryand Paul Insect. See: http://www.brandalism.org.uk/the-project

[2] Dismaland was an illicit exhibition organised by Banksy which involved prominent artists from around the world. At Dismaland, therewas an advertising-takeover installation and a distribution of’hackpacks’. More info here: dismaland.co.uk. The Dismaland artists thatwere involved in this COP21 intervention are Neta Harari, Jimmy Cauty,Paul Insect (shares studio with Banksy), Escif and Kennard Phillips.

[3] On Black Friday, retailers offer large discounts to promote sales.The concept originated in the US and flew over to Europe in the lastyears where it is gaining popularity. It is known to cause violence(including deaths) in front of and inside shops. See more on this here:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/death-counter-records-number-of-people-killed-or-injured-on-black-friday-a6731766.html  The 27th of November is also ‘No Ad Day’ an artist led initiative thatseeks to remove ads from public spaces across the world.

[4] Climate Games – www.climategames.net

[5] For more information on the Solutions 21 conference see:http://corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/2015/10/false-solutions-cop21-guide

Video Thumbnail Paris Protesters 10000 Human Chain

Paris COP21: Ignoring Ban 10,000 Protesters Form Human Chain

On Sunday, November 29, on the eve of the  COP21 climate talks, more,  more than 10,000 protesters gathered to form a human chain despite protests being banned following the recent Paris terror attacks.

Video is all music, so don’t let French title scare you. Watch it, share it, soak in the solidarity, and know that you are not alone in this fight!  Together we are powerful.

Thanks to Vincent Verzat for this fabulous video!

 

The Best Climate March Photos from Around the World

350.org has collected photos from this weekend’s climate marches held around the world!  We can all use a reminder that we are not in this alone and that together we are powerful.

You can browse their full collection of photos here.

Now, if you’re still watching from the sidelines, it is time to connect and take action!  We can’t do this alone. We need you.

Whether it is a local chapter of 350Interfaith Power and LightMoms Clean Air Force, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, another organization, or just participating in the next global event with family and friends,  it is time to  take action.

My recommendation?  Do it with a friend.  Ask a family member, friend or or colleague from work if they want to check out an organization or attend an action with you.

Zurich, Switzerland

Photos in this post via 350.org Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Melbourne, Australia