Ecocide: Arts, Resistance and Social Change

Issue 6 October 2014

Can Artists Change the World?

Sculpture, photography, architecture, and biology are some of the disciplines that intersect in Ackroyd & Harvey’s work, revealing an intrinsic bias towards process and event and often reflecting urban political ecologies by highlighting the temporal nature of processes of growth and decay. In this exclusive interview they discuss their work and ideas with Helen Moore.

Liberate Tate – ‘Parts Per Million’

Art activism by Liberate Tate references the growing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million (ppm). Steadily increasing since the onset of the industrial revolution, levels now exceed what scientists consider to be a maximum ‘safe’ limit of 350 ppm. This piece also critiques the role of oil companies in contributing to this, and their sponsorship of the arts.

Greenspin video poem

‘Greenspin’ is a collaboration between poet Helen Moore and film-maker Howard Vause. Liberating and exposing the language of corporate advertising and ‘greenwashing’, the film references the creative practice of subvertising through the medium of satirical videopoetry, with an ante-narrative in the form of an ‘ad’ for the spoof Greenspin PR company, followed by the performance of the poem ‘From Greenwash, A User’s Manual’. The piece won 3rd prize in the Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival 2013.

Earth Justice

Helen Moore’s award-winning poem records the mock ecocide trial held at London’s Supreme Court in 2011. The project was initiated by Polly Higgins, an environmental lawyer, barrister and author, as part of the Eradicating Ecocide campaign to make ecocide the fifth international Crime against Peace.