Björk and Environmental Activism Favorite 



Apr 5 2015



"In a world where artists do themselves no financial favours by voicing critical political sentiments, Björk’s iconoclastic position and perspective is almost unique. Despite having made zero concessions to commerciality in her music, she has sold millions of albums, and remains as vital today as she was a quarter of a century ago.

But while her relentless boundary pushing as an artist has undoubtedly given her the platform she has, Björk has consistently chosen to use it to champion an environmentalist perspective. And although avant-pop musicians are generally not renowned for being nature-hating, tyre-burning petrol heads, Björk’s forthright and steadfast advocacy still stands out like a gleaming, glorious wind turbine in a sour-faced Home Counties retirement village.

Björk has been a vocal critic of the Icelandic Prime Minister’s plans to push through industrial development in the wild highlands of the country, describing him and other senior politicians as ‘rednecks’ for their bullish approach to an area that many Icelanders consider serenely sacred. Along with a handful of other high-profile artists such as Thom Yorke, and more recently ANOHNI, Björk has leant her voice to campaigns looking to build public and political momentum around climate change...

One of her most recent interventions was to cancel her performance at Iceland Airwaves festival at the tail end of 2015, and then replace her show with a press conference alongside Icelandic conservationist Andri Snaer Magnason, calling for an emergency national park to be created to prevent the development of an energy pipeline in Iceland’s highlands exporting volcanically-heated power to the UK and elsewhere. Björk said: 'I’ve decided to put all my energy into Iceland and all my time away from my music I’ve put into this battle…I can be more valuable here in Iceland and get more done than…if I were to fly around the world and fight global warming.'

Her comment zeroes in on a catch 22 for many musicians, or any other high-profile figure with a global audience, international engagements, and an eye-wateringly high carbon footprint to go with it. In the same way that no-one likes hearing lectures on poverty alleviation from tax-dodging smarm-bots like Bono, there is a sense that messages about curbing carbon are not best delivered fresh from the airport. Perhaps as a result, it is much easier for artists – visual or musical – to engage with tangible events and injustices."

Posted by rkim1023 on

Staff rating: