Addressing The Creeping Problem of Hunger: Food Banks Canada “Starve the Hunger” (2022)

PSA & Public Interest

With food insecurity and hunger at an all-time high, The Local Collective’s new “Starve the Hunger” campaign for Food Banks Canada puts the issue top-

Flood Tide of Resistance. An interview with Oliver Ressler

I remember the years 2008 and 2009 as a period when many art institutions across Europe dedicated major exhibitions to “the changing planet” and in particular to the effects that global warming, pollution, land erosion and other sources of environmental degradation were having on the living world. At the time, raising awareness about the unfolding eco-carnage was a theme like many others for artists. Their works were visually arresting but most of them never stepped out of museum and gallery spaces.

Tools for Action, Red Line Barricade, COP21 protest, Paris 2015. Courtesy Tools for Action Foundation. Photo: Artúr van Balen

Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studio, Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, 2006/2021 © Metabolic Studio

Today, however, it is hard to look at the environmental emergency as if it were an artistic theme like any other. Legislations, corporate promises and governmental efforts to “drive down emissions” are too weak to prevent planetary breakdown. Most are not even implemented anyway. This is why more and more artists are now putting their practice and skills directly at the service of the climate justice movement.

Flood Tide of Resistance, an exhibition that opens at NeMe in Limassol (Cyprus) on Friday 7 October, presents the work of artists who actively support the climate justice movement. The artists selected by Oliver Ressler cover many grounds, deploy different strategies and come from various parts of the world. Their tactics and degrees of involvement vary: Tools for Actions creates playful tools that climate activists can appropriate and use; Tiago de Aragão documented and participated in the mobilisations of indigenous communities against the destruction of their livelihoods; the members of No Grandi Navi have campaigned with vigour against cruise-ship tourism in Venice, etc.

The show at NeMe is a spin-off of Overground Resistance which opened last year at Q21 in Vienna. Both shows have the same vigour and messages but along with the projects that took place on land, visitors of Flood Tide of Resistance will also discover activism that takes place at sea.

I caught up with artist and filmmaker Oliver Ressler as he was preparing the exhibition to ask him a few questions about climate justice, new forms of civil disobedience and artistic engagement:

Tiago de Aragao, Entre Parentes, 2018

Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy III, #NoDAPL, 2016

Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy III, Water Protectors VS. Oil Protectors, 2018

Hi Oliver! I found it interesting that instead of the usual show about climate movements, the exhibition explores the climate justice movements. Could you tell us about the distinction?

I think in the Global North many people think, the problem with the climate is primarily too much carbon in the atmosphere, and therefore we have to achieve decarbonization. While it is necessary to achieve decarbonization, this is not enough. We also need to talk about climate justice, to compensate the Global South which in a historical perspective contributed much less to global warming, while facing the most severe, most brutal consequences of climate breakdown. A change in our perspective is important: In regard to climate breakdown, the North is the debtor, and it has to start accepting this inconvenient role and start transferring huge amounts of money as compensation for the damages that occur due to extreme weather events; money, which will also be needed to pay for adaptation measures and decarbonizing the South.

Oliver Ressler, Barricade Cultures of the Future, 2021?

Noel Douglas, No Breathing Space, 2020

How important is it for artists to collaborate with NGOs, local activists, indigenous communities and other actors of the climate justice movement?

If you care about the future of life on the planet, you have several possibilities to continue working as an artist, doing work in relation to and in collaboration with protagonists of progressive social movements. And I’m afraid a classical studio practice is becoming more and more cynical and irrelevant… Already now we see some artists taking on the responsibility of documenting actions and creating tools that can be used to spread the word and broaden anti-extraction activities. Others participate in shaping the visual appearance of groups, creating tools that can be used in direct action. Some collaborate in designing the choreography of mass actions of civil disobedience. Others establish new networks of collaboration and support indigenous or under-privileged communities in sacrifice zones. I believe all of these are very meaningful activities.

Kathy Jetn?il-Kijiner & Aka Niviâna, Rise: From One Island to Another, 2018

Kathy Jetn?il-Kijiner & Aka Niviâna, Rise: From One Island to Another, 2018

The exhibition you curated for frei_raum Q21 exhibition space was titled Overground Resistance. The show you curated for NeMe is Flood Tide of Resistance. If I understand correctly, it is more focused on the sea. How did you go from a show that looks at climate justice resistance on land to one that looks at marine environments?

It would be boring to repeat exactly the same show I already did last year. In addition to the works that were presented at Museumsquartier in Vienna last year, at NeMe Arts Centre we also include art works focusing on resistance specific to the sea, connecting my curatorial research to a research project NeMe was already involved in. It recognizes the importance of the sea as a space where activity required for the perpetuation of the neoliberal economy happens. Commodities are moved around the planet in crude oil-burning container ships, but the sea is also an extraction site for raw materials. Right now, corporations and states are competing for control of the deep-sea mining sites of the future. Whether or not this new round of accumulation, exploitation and destruction will become reality will depend on the capacity of our movements to grow and block and intervene.

Comitato No Grandi Navi, 2015/2016

Comitato No Grandi Navi, 2015/2016

Comitato No Grandi Navi, 2015/2016

Comitato No Grandi Navi, 2015/2016

How do activists make the defence of the sea more urgent and visible when, as is often the case, it’s easier for many of us to relate to where we live (the land) and less so to what’s out there in the vast sea?

Many people live in coastal or seaboard areas; for those people it’s a natural thing to care about the sea, and maybe also expand direct action to the sea. For years, No Grandi Navi in Venice have been trying to stop cruise ships entering the laguna. Using their small boats, they obstruct the large cruisers directly with their bodies. Their actions keep these huge ships from landing, and also create a new kind of imagery, which gets distributed by media, making the issue more visible to a wider public. The struggles against mass tourism, against climate breakdown and against the destruction of the laguna converge in these amazing actions. After years of struggles, at the very least, No Grandi Navi succeeded in hindering the cruise ships from entering the laguna.

In his book How To Blow Up a Pipeline, Andreas Malm calls for the climate movement to escalate its tactics in the face of ecological collapse. The situation is so dire and the absence of an adequate response is so depressing that we don’t have time for peaceful protests anymore. Is this something you would agree with? Is it ever acceptable to resort to sabotage and “controlled” violence if the cause is just, urgent and ignored after decades of quiet protests and other peaceful tactics?

Andreas Malm explains quite clearly that at a time when ongoing business-as-usual means more and more new extraction projects that vandalize our climate, it should be the responsibility of states to dismantle the climate-wrecking industry and to expropriate the owners and shareholders. As we know, there is not a single state doing this. Property rights seem untouchable. Therefore, whether we like it or not, it appears that our only way to expropriate the climate wreckers is to do it ourselves, through sabotage or by destroying their machines. Such actions have been happening for decades; e.g., the Ogoni in their fight against Shell’s murderous oil extraction have a long record of destroying pipelines. It is absolutely clear that the non-action of states will lead to a global wave of sabotage on a scale the planet has never seen before. It will happen on that scale as soon as people sense that this is the only chance to prevent further disasters.

Thanks Oliver!

More images of the artworks in the show:

The Natural History Museum, Houston Map, poster, 2016?

Jonas Staal, Climate Propagandas, 2020

Tools for Action, Red Line Barricade, COP21 protest, Paris 2015. Courtesy Tools for Action Foundation. Photo: Artúr van Balen

Noel Douglas, No Breathing Space, 2020

Flood Tide of Resistance, curated by Oliver Ressler, opens at NeMe in Limassol, Cyprus, on Friday, 7 October 2022, 7:30pm. The show is open until 4 November 2022.
The seminar Flood Tide of Resistance will take place on Saturday, 8 October 2022, 6:30pm.

Related stories: How to Blow Up a Pipeline. Learning to Fight in a World on Fire, Disobedience Archive (The Republic), Global Activism: Art and Conflict in the 21st Century, etc.


Meta Introduces More Places to Advertise, Brand Safety Controls Amid Macroeconomic Headwinds

Meta is making a slew of new spaces available for advertisers on both the Explore page of Instagram, within Facebook Reels and on creators pages, the company announced at a press event Monday. It’s a potential new source of ad revenue for the social networking giant and for the creators who use the platform as…

How Meta reset brand safety controls on Facebook and Instagram

Meta has a new plan to show brands exactly where their ads appear in the feed.

Symprove's fashion forward dresses, ‘Flatulence Frock’ and ‘Loo Roll Look’.

Health & Beauty

In September the world’s style mavens descended on London for Fashion Week. Then quickly onto Milan. And now to Paris.

Vodafone +GigaHome – Dad "I'm here" (2022) 1:40 (Ireland)

Telecom & Dotcoms

A teenage girl lives with her mom, but her dad is a daily active co-parent who rolls up in the car to take her to school.

At Recurrent Ventures, Recurrent Layoffs Raise Questions of Mismanagement 

The media company Recurrent Ventures, which operates a portfolio of editorial titles ranging from Popular Science to Field & Stream, eliminated the roles of 52 employees last week in a surprise round of cuts, according to documents obtained by Adweek. The layoffs, which affected the editorial departments at The Drive and Task & Purpose, as…

Watch Pepsi’s ‘Footloose’ remake

The soda brand jumps on TikTok-fueled renewed interest in the movie with a modern take on the title song by Chloe Bailey.

Coors Light Will Do Your Laundry So You Can Watch More Football

For most people, being an adult entails doing things you don’t want to do. Dishes need cleaning. Lawns need mowing. Floors need sweeping. To help lighten the load of responsibility, Coors Light is offering to do people’s laundry throughout the college football season. The beer brand has teamed up with Tide Cleaners, a national laundry…

What ad-supported streaming TV needs to know to keep on winning

Major streamers, including Amazon, are investing in solutions that take traditional product placement to a whole new level and complement the commercial break.

Meta on SMBs: Pandemic-Related Issues Wane, Replaced by Inflation, Supply Chain Worries

Closure rates for small and midsized businesses and other challenges related to the pandemic are beginning to stabilize, but they are being replaced by new roadblocks, such as inflation, according to the latest edition of the Global State of Small Business Report. Meta’s ongoing series of reports surveys more than 20,000 business leaders across 30…

Agencies are struggling to get employees back into the office

Reluctant to mandate a five-day-a-week schedule, executives are counting on the current hybrid model to die out on its own.

Meme Creators Are a Powerful But Tricky Tool to Help Brands Speak Internet

A post appears in your Instagram feed–seemingly an innocent screenshot of a text conversation. “Babe did you put a vodka lemonade in my purse?” one blue bubble reads. Before you get to reading the replies (banter about drinking at the back of a wedding), it’s clear that the text conversation is an ad for alcohol…

Dear brands—Hispanics are more than hard work and great fiestas

Marketers need to authentically reflect the richness of Hispanic lives that are multifaceted, creative and diverse.

Area Man Is Arrested for Parody. The Onion Files a Supreme Court Brief.

“Americans can be put in jail for poking fun at the government?” the satirical website asked in a friend-of-the-court brief filed Monday. “This was a surprise to America’s Finest News Source.”

Abolish Silos and Champion Creativity as Your Guiding Force

Over the past few years, it’s nearly impossible to sit in an agency pitch prep meeting without someone attributing the never-ending pitchapalooza to the revolving door for today’s CMO. For those of us who have experienced its disruptive impact firsthand, it has become a powerful guiding KPI for measuring client stability and health. According to…

Why agencies need to leave the office and broken work cultures behind

Three ways to transform your office into someplace where employees want to work.

Creative Flavor: Camila Rocha Thrives On Great Teamwork With Brave Clients

For Miami-based Republica Havas copywriter Camila Rocha, day-to-day work is all a part of an ongoing educational experience that will continue throughout her career. “I hope to hone my craft and keep learning from everyone around me,” Rocha told Adweek. Emphasizing teamwork as a key element of success, Rocha likewise noted that finding the ideal…

Journalist Percy Lapid Is Fatally Shot in the Philippines

The radio host Percival Mabasa was killed during an ambush, the police said. He had been a prominent critic of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.

Edit Tweet Begins Rolling Out to Twitter Blue Subscribers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand

Twitter users’ most desired feature isn’t quite on their devices yet, but it’s getting closer. The social network said Monday that the Edit Tweet feature is rolling out to members of subscription service Twitter Blue in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, adding in a tweet, “U.S. coming soon.” now that Edit is rolling out in…