Call to Action
2020, High School, Interactive & Multimedia
Project Description: My piece includes visual art in the form of a 3D pop-up book, a written poem, and a video where I read the poem and take the audience through the pages of the book. My aim was to make an interactive experience where the audience participates. I wanted the art to spring to life, and the action of it rising up off the page to mimic the action and movement that I am attempting to stir up in the audience.
As the viewer turns the pages they experience the mess and corruption and helplessness of the first page, with subliminal messages written into the smog above, and pollution words used as graffiti on the wall. The next page uses a lot of blank space to give the words more power and to solidify the overwhelming challenge that we feel trying to take on such a huge issue. Then the story shifts and the viewer is empowered. They are shown that they really can make a difference and some ways we can join together to take action. The last page shows the final goal, Hope of the replenished, healthy ocean with its abundance of beauty and life, but the real message is that the hope is inside each and every one of us.
Call To Action
I was oblivious.
Like a crab in a rock pool, safe in my shell,
I assumed all was well.
Didn’t follow the news of the constant abuse
of our rivers and oceans, our planet suffering.
Thought I was doing my part, taking public transport,
No more paper plates or plastic forks,
Picking up litter on my walks
Through the city.
But then I opened my eyes,
And the view wasn’t pretty.
Threadbare tires, scrunched up fliers,
Fly-tipped fridges and rusty shopping carts…
Where to start?
The factories pumping smog into the sky,
Noxious smoke belching from chimneys so high,
Toxic slurry gushing into the rivers,
Poisoning fish while plant-life withers…
And suddenly I felt so SMALL.
Overwhelmed by it all.
Just one person. One voice, one carbon footprint.
I realized what it meant:-
IT ISN’T ENOUGH.
Read the writing on the wall,
In bold letters 10ft tall…
A call to action!
We need to rise up like the rushing tide,
Not one voice alone, but side by side,
In unison we will MAKE ourselves heard.
In every country they will hear our words.
We will march on the capitols and town halls,
A constant, forceful wave of youth,
propelled by the need to speak the truth
And TAKE BACK our future.
100 seconds to midnight on the doomsday clock,
But we will fight with EVERY moment, EVERY tick, every tock,
SHOUT our message with the rage of hurricanes,
FORCE our governments to make policy change:-
Lower emissions, enact clean waters, make energy sustainable…
Our goals are attainable
If we all work together.
No surrender. We are our planet’s only hope,
Without us it’s on a downwards slope
But it doesn’t HAVE to be.
We need to join the movement,
Start taking action for our environment.
Pick up a pen, write a hundred letters
to every congressman, telling them they need to do better!
Every CEO and fat cat from every country, every nation,
Their wallets stuffed with millions from our planet’s exploitation…
We should bury them in our words and our righteous anger,
So many petitions they can’t ignore us any longer –
They SHOULD be scared.
Make them quake in their skyscrapers,
Crash down upon their desks like a tsunami of papers!
Each letter a voice, every voice demanding ACTION,
They can’t ignore us! We are LEGION.
We are many and we have youth on our side,
We WILL win this climate war, we can’t be denied,
We won’t hide. Our anger’s justified.
And if we all do our part, unleash the fire in our hearts,
Then we won’t seem small at all.
Their corporations will fall to our demands
It’s in our hands. Together, we will be the
Some of the letters on my pop-up book page with the Senator’s office are small print outs of actual letters I have written this year. My aim is to write at least one new letter a week throughout 2020.
Call To Action is an autobiographical story of my journey towards activism. I hope to inspire other young people to get more involved, because climate change affects us all. There is a growing anger within us this last few years; a sense of despair at the negative impact our current administration is having on environmental issues - removing protection status in National Parks, slashing conservation budgets, eliminating clean water bills, rolling back countless positive decisions made by the previous President. I didn't want to gloss over that anger because it is justified. But I wanted to use the anger and turn it into positivity. These last few weeks alone we have seen that by rising up in unity big changes can be forced upon our leaders. Things they told us would take years to work through are actually only taking days to be put in place. So there is no excuse for being passive because this really is a Climate War right now. People might struggle to see the hope in my message, but it is very clear to me. WE are the hope. The young people that take a stand, boycott school and picket outside government buildings, who write to senators. I have begun the process of writing letters, some of which are in my book. I aim to write one a week in 2020 and hope to encourage others to do the same. Sign the petitions, make your voice heard. When times seem dark, be your own light.