Artivists take to the seas to save the Arctic

My name is Mike and I have been one of the three judges of the #SaveTheArctic poster competition, and what an honour that has been. In a meeting recently we chose the top entries to the competition. Soon I will meet the three lucky young winners; Anastasia, 21, from Russia; Sara, 18, from Spain; and Emile, 20, from Canada. I will meet them in the Arctic where it will be my pleasure, as captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, to welcome them on board for a voyage where the sun will never set.

Arctic poster competition winner. 2016 © Anastasiya Terekhova / Greenpeace  Arctic poster competition winner. 2016 © Sara Medina Rodriguez / Greenpeace Arctic poster competition winner. 2016 © Emile Maheu / GreenpeaceArctic poster competition winners

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”.

Urban 'Art Festival' for the Arctic in Barcelona, with more than 35 artists painting around 600 meters of walls (1.500 square meters). 9 April 2016. © Greenpeace / Carlos AlonsoUrban ‘Art Festival’ for the Arctic in Barcelona. 9 April 2016. © Greenpeace / Carlos Alonso

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.

Arctic poster competition entrant. 2016 © Marijke Wehrmann / GreenpeaceArctic poster competition entrant. 2016 © Marijke Wehrmann / Greenpeace

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.

via Greenpeace news

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