On September 21st I worked with Survival Media Agency to document the largest climate march in history, the Peoples Climate March. Our team was contracted by 350.org to document and capture this historical event. To cover this moment, Survival Media brought in 6 photographers and 2 editors.
Considering all the attention on the event, over 400,000 people marching in the streets, and the thousands of groups that came out to support, it was clear that we had the potential to make some of those images go viral.
Crucial to that social media push was the first shot of the march, the one that showed what was happening in New York ‘right now’. To get that shot I was given access to a crane at the front of the march. Twenty minutes before the march started I rose up above Columbus Circle to capture the moment. What I witnessed was an incredible demonstration of people power. It was impossible to see the end of the crowd. It extended all the way up to 91St and beyond. Never before had this many people gathered in one spot to demand action on climate change. Here was the climate movement coming of age.
However, I didn’t get to take in the scene for long because in a few minutes my colleagues were asking me to get down so they could have my images.
On the ground, Shadia Fayne Wood and Bunker Seyfert proceeded to edit the crucial image and send it to the waiting crew at the offices of 350.org.
Six hours later, when I had finished documenting the march, I finally caught a glimpse of the image. It had been shared over 7,000 times! It takes a team; photographers, editors, graphic designers and a platform that will amplify your image. But, when it works, it is awesome.
I am currently on my trip west across Canada to Alberta to begin the main leg of the Along the Pipeline project. Along the way I was lucky enough to find myself in Toronto during the Defend our Climate rally. Around 1500 people came out in Toronto today to take part in the rally. The rally was part of a national day of action drawing attention to pipelines, tar sands, climate change and other resource extraction that is exacerbating climate change, affecting First Nations and leading Canada towards a Petrostate future.
Led by First Nations, many different faces, nationalities and ages joined in the march, it was an amazing day in sunny Toronto.
Over 300 people gathered today to rally in support of action on climate change, social justice and environmental justice at Oka, Quebec in Canada. The rally was part of a national day of action organized by a group of organizations in Canada called Defend Our Climate. The purpose of the rallies was to draw attention to the worsening climate situation and the increased fossil fuel activity in Canada.
It was a beautiful day to be out photographing and capturing these moments.
I have just finished documenting Powershift in Pittsburgh. This is the third time I have covered a Powershift, the first in 2009 in Washington and the second was in London. There is no doubt in my mind that over 6000 young adults (and some teenagers) left Pittsburgh yesterday ready to change and fight for a diversity of issues. The most important aspect of this conference was the range of speakers and panels that highlighted the intersectionality of the climate crisis and the social and environmental justice movements in the United States and the world.
I worked with Project Survival Media to document the conference for the Energy Action Coalition. We did the important job of covering the speakers and the attendees and then stayed up late working with social media experts to push the images and memes out to world.
Below is my selection of the 25 top images from the weekend. I hope they inspire you to work a little bit harder than ever before to help solve the climate crisis.
This evening TransCanada held their one and only open house in the vast city of Montreal. The open house was situated in the middle of nowhere in the east industrial area and almost everyone visiting got lost. Surprisingly, for a massive infrastructure project there were few ‘regular’ citizens to be seen. In fact there were more blue shirts in the room all night than ‘regular’ citizens.
But that statement doesn’t tell the whole story. It was clear that the majority of those blue shirts and regular citizens were actually concerned citizens. Save-Canada.com has been attending these events, dressed in almost exactly the same fatigue as the TransCanada representatives and handing out more information about how this pipeline will impact Canadians and the world. It seems that the TransCanada people don’t know what to do with them. Throughout the evening Save Canada, and SansTransCanada, their Quebec counterpart, engaged with citizens and even played a little game of ‘pin the spill on the pipeline’.
From my perspective it looks like TransCanada has a long uphill battle ahead. There are a lot of concerned citizens, few actual jobs and they are building an export pipeline. If you are looking for some more information here is one source. The visual story is below.
While world leaders discuss solutions to the climate crisis at the United Nations Conference of Parties in Durban, South Africa, the South Durban community is on the front line of the climate justice struggle.
In conjunction with the Global Work Party, Cradle to Cradle, a event informing children and adults about sustainability was held today in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The Cradle to Cradle event was packed with kids and families, enjoying the sun, learning about sustainability and creating cool things with recycled materials. The photographs below show kids making wallets from old milk cartons and art from recycled material.
The Global Work Party was organized by 350.org and 10:10 and is being heralded as the world’s largest day of civil action ever. Be sure to hop on over to 350.org for more photography around the world.
This past Saturday, in the little town of Vlaardingen near Rotterdam, an estimated 1500 Scouts gathered to create this aerial image of 10:10. The event was organized by JMA (Jongeren Milieu Actief) in Amsterdam. This is arguably the largest 10:10 image ever recorded and was a lot of fun to create, (at 20 meters in the air). The image reminds us of the goal to stop climate change by reducing emissions by 10% in 2010. It is important that we to get to work during and after the Global Work Party on October 10, 2010.
In Amsterdam on October 10 a series of workshops will be held at the Dok Huis Gallery @ Plantage Doklaan 8 Amsterdam. Currently the prospective line up is below. If you want to get involved in helping plan either of these workshops or just want to come along, contact me.
In the POWER workshops, participants will gain practical skills in how to create electric power off the grid.
In the ART workshops, participants will utilise recycled/waste/sustainable materials to create quality art works.
In the MUSIC workshops, participants will create instruments with recycled/waste materials.
In the LIFE workshops, participants will learn how to create sustainable urban gardens and do some shared vegetarian cooking.
“Just seeing the future for us and knowing that they [our parents] wanted a better future for us, I have the same feeling for, not myself, but the kids and for my relatives and that something better will be in the future for them, that keeps me going. Knowing that we have succeeded in one step and maybe we can continue on and see a better future for all of us.
[One of] the other things that keeps me going is knowing that one of my great aunts and my great uncles [had] respiratory problems. Their breath was taken away slowly inch by inch, feeling like they were being suffocated. When they died, thinking about them and thinking that how much better it would be for the rest of the people here. I don’t want them to die that way anymore, I want them to be able to breathe.” Fern Benally, Navajo Activist.
Shadia Fayne Wood from Project Survival Media and I just finished an assignment in Arizona, covering an incredible group of activists that are working hard to stop dirty energy on the Navajo Reservation and pushing the envelope on clean energy development. We are focusing on the closing of one of the coal mines in the area, the tactics that were used and what this means to the people affected by the closure.
The former coalmine is in the Benally’s backyard, land that has been the families for thousands of years. For the last 30 years, 24 hours a day, the large coal trucks would rumble by the house and the coal crusher would drown out nature. Now, thanks to incredible co-operation and dedication amongst groups like the Black Mesa Water Coalition, Grand Canyon Trust and the Sierra Club, the life of mine permit was revoked in January. Now, the Benally’s can hear the birds sing and watch the stars like their ancestors did long before Europeans came here.
There are still many examples of environmental racism here in Arizona and across our planet. But, it is important to celebrate victories and share the knowledge so that we can all move towards a sustainable future. More to come on this project in the future.