Celebrating the link between art and activism

Inspired by the emotive placards used by demonstrators all over the world, Friends of the Earth is hosting an art exhibition, the Art of Activism, which is running in London until Thursday 10 October. Muna Suleiman, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, explains the link between creativity and climate action.

Placards on display at the Art of Activism exhibition
Placards on display at the Art of Activism exhibition

Image: Friends of the Earth

Muna Suleiman

Friends of the Earth has been honoured to partner with theprintspace and The Guardian to host an exhibition focused on acts of resistance that give us hope and inspiration in the face of the climate crisis.

Located at theprintspace in London, Art of Activism is a free to enter exhibition and fundraiser for Friends of the Earth, inspired by the humorous placards that people make for demonstrations. 

On display is work from activist Greta Thunberg, artist Jeremy Deller and fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, as well as a further 30 pieces following an open call to artists. A selection of these are available to purchase as prints via the Guardian Print Shop to raise funds for our campaigns.  

Friends of the Earth has a long history of environmental activism at a grassroots level. Time and time again we’ve found that the voices of people and communities can lead to big changes. Art and design have always been important in activism, making sure that campaigns and demands grab people’s attention and settle in their memory.

Alongside displaying artwork, the Art of Activism aims to be a space for conversation and events. Inviting activists, artists, journalists and more as part of panel events, the space has celebrated the link between art and action. It’s also considered how the wider artistic movement traditionally represents, or underrepresents, those groups who are fighting on the frontlines of climate breakdown.

Wednesday 2 October marked the 1000th day of anti-fracking protest at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire. Guests heard from activists on the frontline of this fight, who discussed how collective, community-led action can take on powerful industry and government, as well as how activists can support communities and what art means in their movement.

The gallery is hosting a final event on Thursday 10 October entitled ‘Following on from the global climate strike, what does the next stage of the fight look like?'

You can find out more on the Friends of the Earth website