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Defund Climate Chaos

Activists from across the country are being invited to sign up to receive art and commit to getting your climate action group, friends, family, or neighbors together to participate and get this powerful climate movement art up in your community.  

Climate Art vs. Wall Street

Dozens of climate movement groups are coming together in April to organize the #DefundClimateChaos Week of Arts Action. Join us.

David SolnitAlec Connon

In just a couple of weeks, between April 2 and April 10, dozens of climate movement groups are coming together to organize the #DefundClimateChaos Week of Arts Action.  

Here’s the plan: We’re printing 30,000 giant street art posters—each one 5 1/2 feet tall x 3 1/2 feet wide. There are six different designs, each created by movement artists, such as Jackie Fawn, Jetsonorama, and César Maxit. We’re working hard to get these works of art into the hands of thousands of activists across the country who will, in turn, get them up in their communities. We’ve already sent art to organizers in forty-five US states and five Canadian provinces. 

Some activists have even already started getting the art out into the world:

We’re inviting activists across the country to sign up to receive art and commit to getting your climate action group, friends, family, or neighbors together to participate and get this powerful climate movement art up in your community.  

You can sign up to participate and receive your #DefundClimateChaos art here.

Once you sign up, we’ll post you six giant street art images and provide you with a resource guide that has everything you need to know to make sure you’re using the art in the most powerful way possible.  

Here’s the art that you’ll receive in the mail:

Defund Climate Chaos posters

On Tuesday, March 29th at 5:00 pm PT (8:00 pm ET) we are also hosting a Virtual Arts Training with long-time movement artists and activists, including a number of the artists who created the images for the week of action. During the training, we will walk you through step-by-step tips for pasting the posters up, using the art in actions, and setting up a pop-up art show. You can RSVP for the training here.

Each of the six works of art has been created especially for this project, and each tells a unique and powerful story.  

Allen Myers is a photographer and filmmaker who was born and raised in Paradise, California. After Paradise was burned to the ground by the Camp Fire in 2018, he returned and photographed seventy families in the ashes of their homes—many of them were his friends, family, and neighbors.  

His photograph of Paradise resident, Carrie Max, in the ashes of her home is one of the images featured in the #DefundClimateChaos Week of Arts Action.

"I lost everything, my home, my town, my history," said Carrie about her participation in this project. "The fire took everything. We are left with ashes. There's no doubt in my mind that this was connected to climate change. There was PG&E with its spark, there was poor forest management and there was the unseasonably hot and dry winds that were the result of climate change. The world must divest from fossil fuels if others are to avoid the catastrophe we've experienced."

Why We're Doing This: Using Art to Shed Light on Wall Street's Lies

Lying is fundamentally pernicious. It corrodes the public discourse, democracy and basic notions of human decency. In the modern age, lies can have catastrophic impacts: Lies about Ukraine's history and sovereignty have enabled Vladimir Putin’s atrocities; if it wasn’t for the malevolent power of lying, Donald Trump never would have been President. 

Ours is the first age in which the lies human’s tell one another can have planetary consequences. In this regard, the fossil fuel industry takes first prize for history's most consequential deceit—spending forty years and tens of millions dollars lying about the fact that their products are destroying our shared climate.  

But when it comes to consequential deceit, Wall Street's lies are not be far behind.

In the last 18 months, Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America have publicly promised climate action, committed to aligning their business models with the Paris Agreement, and pledged that they will achieve “net zero emissions” by 2050. They desperately want you to think that, when it comes to climate, they are on the right side of history.   But the facts tell a very different story.

Here’s a few of them: 

  • Chase has loaned $316 billion to the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Agreement was signed. 
  • Wells Fargo is the world's largest funder of fracking. 
  • Citibank is the largest funder of coal in the US. 
  • Since 2015, Bank of America has loaned $92 billion to the 100 corporations most aggressively expanding their fossil fuel operations—despite the fact that any fossil fuel expansion is incompatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Banks are deeply culpable for the climate crisis. But, utilizing a particularly modern form of lying, they are spending millions on slick PR so that you’ll never know that.    

We're simply using art to help people see the truth about Wall Street's role in the climate crisis.  

Art has always been central to social movements. From Estonia's Singing Revolution—in which community singing helped fell dictatorship—to ACT UP's punchy art that shamed the U.S. government into addressing the AIDS crisis, to a thousand social movements in between, art has been a powerful tool for social change. Art is capable of cutting through the lies to shine a light on the injustice.  As the old saying goes: an image is worth 1,000 words. So just imagine how many words 30,000 #DefundClimateChaos images like this all over the country will be worth.

Please join us by signing up here today to join the Defund Climate Chaos Week of Action.     

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
David Solnit

David Solnit

David Solnit is an arts organizer with the Climate Justice Street Mural Project and co-author of "Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World," and co-author of "The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle."

Alec Connon

Alec Connon

Alec Connon is the coordinator of the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition, a coalition of over 160 organizations working to stop the flow of money from Wall Street to the fossil fuel industry. He is also a writer. His first novel, The Activist, was published in 2016.

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