Aquatic Protests Against Climate Inaction Favorite 



Jun 18 2022


Seville Spain

A protest on June 18, 2022 took place in the Guadalquivir River in Seville, where fifty Greenpeace activists used their bodies and environment to stage a demonstrative performance, highlighting the water crisis that the Andalusian region is predicted to face as a result of anthropogenic climate change. The area is at extreme risk of increased temperatures and pervasive droughts, which will impact the river that is the subject of the demonstration. The average temperature in Spain has risen by 1.5oC, higher than the global average, and this is expected to continue at an accelerated rate, exacerbating droughts and freshwater shortages (The Climate Reality Project, 2019). As Spain becomes hotter and more arid, risks of wildfires, heatwaves, droughts, and human health conditions are elevated. The performance is the result of a creative attempt to increase awareness and enact change on the issue of growing water scarcity in the Andalusian region (Greenpeace Espana, 2022).

Founded in 1984, Greenpeace is a grassroots nonprofit that coordinates global organizations to advocate and act for an environmentally-conscious and just future. A volunteer-based organization, Greenpeace exposes detrimental environmental actors and promotes public education to encourage mobilization. Through its critical approach to corporate and government responses to climate change issues in Spain, Greenpeace has promoted artistic activism as a method of spreading awareness on local and national levels. Greenpeace has called upon the local, regional, and national government to address this as a primary issue in legislation. The group, equipped with life vests, banners, whistles, and posters, floated one kilometer down-river in Seville, using the body of water to transport and bring their message to new people and areas. The use of their bodies and environments as an active part of the protest elevates the event to one of artistic activism. Armed with signs with slogans of “SALVAR EL AGUA,” they condemn the government’s inaction and lack of acknowledgement of this imminent risk (Greenpeace Espana, 2022). The demonstration’s secondary audience was the public, to which they conveyed the necessity consider this a factor in elections and candidate platforms (Greenpeace Espana, 2022). This artistic demonstration is focused on the local communities, but resonates with many of areas of Spain.

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