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It’s (Red) Hot Outside!

The Aesthetics of Climate Change Activists Extinction Rebellion

Abstract

From 2011’s Occupy movements to the Umbrella Movement Hong Kong to the recent Climate March in September 2019, typified by Extinction Rebellion’s performative acts of resistance, there’s been an exponential increase in protests around the world. People move together en masse to challenge economic inequality and political ineptitude; they demand racial justice and action against climate change and Indigenous land rights. Ideally, protests and forms of direct action generate new ideas where the use of bodies in space become conduits to spark debate, bring awareness, with the hope to change the discourse about urgent issues. The visual power of many bodies speaking both to each other and to a larger public offers a space everyone can safely participate in the social imaginary. This paper considers Extinction Rebellion's graphic and performative aesthetics.

 

Published:
Pages:123 to 136
Section: Art and Activism
How to Cite
Coombs, G. (2020) “It’s (Red) Hot Outside!”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(4), pp. 123-136. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1407.

Author Biography

RMIT university
Australia Australia

Gretchen Coombs is a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Design and Creative Practice Enabling Capability Platform at RMIT. She researches socially engaged art and design practices in the US, the UK and Australia, with a particular focus on how they are practiced in urban contexts.
Gretchen has a PhD in social and cultural anthropology and a MA in visual criticism: her writing uses a combination of ethnographic methods and visual analysis. Her co-edited book for Routledge, Undesign: Critical Practices at the Intersection of Art and Design is due out later this year. She is currently completing her monograph, The Lure of the Social: Encounters with Contemporary Artists (Intellect 2018), which is an experimental ethnography of artists working at the intersection of art, aesthetics, and politics.

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