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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Reclaiming power at Copenhagen!

Creating Social change at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit

Written by Adam S

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Earlier last week I ventured down to Somerset House to see the eagerly anticipated SHOWstudio: Fashion Revolution exhibition which charts this rise of the iconic website from its creation in 2000. This large-scale retrospective of sorts was bursting to the seams with installations of some of the best videos, and information pills podcasts, sales interviews and most importantly– live projects. Split over two levels, dosage as I entered I was greeted with a room comprised entirely of mirrors that were designed to make each person entering ‘really’ look at their reflection. After a few moments of looking at myself and feeling rather vain and awkward I felt obliged to move on and make way for the hoards of teenagers waiting to pull pranks on each other and the non-suspecting public.

Naomi- image courtesy of Showstudio.com

In the next room I found a giant 3-D sculpture of Naomi Campbell, which was linked to an etch-a-sketch computer where visitors could get involved and draw images which were in turn projected onto Naomi’s imposing frame. Interestingly I discovered after my visit that there were several hidden cameras dotted around the Naomi sculpture to record the best comments made by visitors, so I was very relieved that I had gone alone therefore having no one to talk to.

There were many great fashion moments and highlights peppered throughout this exhibition. I think the best was watching a loop of the project ‘More Beautiful Women’ which pays homage to Andy Warhol’s ‘Thirteen Most Beautiful Women’ screen tests of 1964. It’s based on a simple idea where Nick Knight invited several iconic models from the 1960’s through to the present day and asked them to stand in front of a video camera for two minutes. Models involved were Twiggy, Marie Helvin, Kate Moss, Liberty Ross, Stella Tennant and Gisele to name but a few. The best clip that I saw was that of Stephanie Seymour who looked rather bored throughout and remarked ‘This is the longest two minutes of my life!’ This was sheer brilliance in its subversive undertones both perpetuating and playing upon the underlying opinions most people have of models.

'Freedom of Love'- image courtesy of Showstudio.com

Another project that was popular with all visitors was the 2004 collaboration between Brad Pitt and SHOWstudio titled ‘Freedom of Love’. The short film depicted Pitt frantically painting over an enlarged passport sized photograph of himself adding in captions and blurbs, whilst reciting Breton’s sixty line poem of the same name. Whilst I was there this installation drew the biggest crowd and I believe was so popular due to Brad Pitt’s global fame and heartthrob status rather than everyone’s love of the great poet Breton.

'Sheela is a Punk rocker' image courtesy of Showstudio.com

Just when I thought the exhibition was coming to an end I stumbled upon a small section dedicated to Fashion Film, which was comprised of a reel of 16 short films created for SHOWstudio. My favourite was titled ‘Sheena is a Punk Rocker’ which depicted a topless and rather energetic Kate Moss doing a frantic pogo dance which saw her head banging. This was great as I feel it showed much more of her personality than you could possibly gleam from a still image and also had a funny moment near the end where she started ripping the paper background and gets so into it that she suddenly falls to the floor which is the finishing shot.

All fans of SHOWstudio.com would absolutely love this exhibition as it was great to see highlights of the work together in one place, but most importantly it was humbling to see how fashion in general has progressed during this past decade which I feel can partly be credited to Nick Knight and the wealth of contributors who make up the SHOWstudio team. Over the years it has really pushed the boundaries of what is possible and helped guide fashion into the mainstream sphere by applying and manipulating all the modern technologies available to bring it to the masses, whilst looking forward to new and innovative ways to make fashion even more engaging. SHOWstudio: Fashion Revolution is running until 20 December.
COP15 is the next major convening of international governments to reconcile international protocol on climate change.
That’s a lot of long words, visit this what it boils down to is that we are boiling up and the world needs to tackle the issue of climate change head on.

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World leaders and delegates from 189 countries will meet in December in Copenhagen to try and create initiatives and agree on ideas on how we can stop climate change destroying the planet.

COP15 is the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Will this one be any different from the past COP’s, for sale which have so far failed to come up with any sound initiatives?

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With corporations still on the offensive, pill putting millions of pounds into trying to discredit the certainty of climate change as well as governments bickering among each other about who needs to make the first and biggest steps, a deal at this point seems unlikely.
Radically reducing the effect of climate change requires radical change and a just transition in countries across the world. With governments scared of losing electorate and backing by the rich corporations making a swift change away from profit based economics and our consumer lifestyle to a sustainable future is never going to be likely.

The struggle to change to sustainable and clean energies shows the tight grip oil corporations have and how as a society we are intent on quick and cheap energy no matter the impact on the environment around us.
With climate change predominately affecting people in the global south, rich western countries are still slow in waking up to the cold hard fact that due to climate change we too will be living in a third world state unless we act now. It is time to gather a mass movement to say it can no longer be business as usual.

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Over the past few years we have also been seeing a range of market based solutions to try and combat climate change, from carbon trading, tar sands and offsetting schemes, these initiatives fail to look at the root causes and are quick fix ideas that have so far failed to have any impact. Some kind of deal at Copenhagen could see a continuation of this. We need to make sure that we no longer look to using false solutions.

A huge movement of groups and individuals are at least going to make this COP one leaders will never forget, joining thousands of activists from around the world people are going to hold a week of protests from farmers actions to a peoples summit in the conference to show that we are no longer willing for governments and corporations to make the decisions and it is time to take the power back. There will be a chance to get involved from any level you are comfortable with, although with cold temperatures and swarms of police expected it is not something for the faint hearted.

Under the banner ‘Social Change not Climate Change,’ Climate Justice Action, a coalition of social groups have been organising like crazy to make it as easy as possible for people to get to Copenhagen and make their voices and presence be known.

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Climate Justice Action will bring together concerned individuals directly affected by climate change from the global south, progressive NGO’s, indigenous peoples as well as you and others from around the UK.
Buses are leaving from Leeds and London at a cut price of 100 pounds return that will give people a chance to get to know others and form an affinity with other protestors. Free accommodation is also being organised as we speak, in social centres and other spaces organised by CJA and networks in Copenhagen.
There are also activities, workshops and events in local neighbourhoods around the country in the next few weeks giving you the chance to get involved and meet up with other people and learn about what you can do and need to bring.

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Copenhagen is seen as one of the last chances to create a huge global movement that will bring about the change we need before it is too late, make sure you are there to join the thousands of others in the biggest and most important protest of the decade.

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