LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social and ecological injustice

Posts from the ‘Climate’ category

Marchers at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark point at Corporations and Bankers as the drivers of climate change. photo: Langelle (2009)

This article is by Dave Bleakney, 2nd National Vice-President Canadian Union of Postal Workers. It was originally translated and published in a German daily, OXI, about the recent UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Congress of the Parties 23 (UNFCCC COP 23) in Bonn. The German translation follows the English below.

I chose the image above as part of my goal of illustrating articles on this website with relevant historical photographs in an effort to ensure that movement history is never forgotten nor the lessons lost. – Orin Langelle

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COPPING OUT AT COP, Avoidance and possibility in a burning world

During the recent Bonn summit a taxi driver provided a clear summary. Asked what he thought of COP 23, he replied “the climate is in crisis, but here, this is about money”. He had provided what had been missing inside. As we race toward certain and expanding catastrophe, he underscored that profiteering off a destructive cycle production, consumption, shipping, the unnecessary transport of products over vast distances and continuous growth models form the basis from which these discussions are framed. It is as though the elephant in the room is never acknowledged, with few exceptions.

How does this appear? In North America you can try this experiment. Turn down the volume of your TV and watch the myriad of commercial advertisements where someone is unhappy until they possess a certain product and suddenly, presto! Everything is great and everyone is happy. The same rubric repeats, again and again. Buy and smile. Smile and buy. Crave to belong as if this will somehow connect us together and create momentary windows of happiness while the earth burns. A crude system of modern feudalism has engulfed the planet where a handful of men – eight, to be precise – own half the planet. In this obscene reality a man can be worth more than a nation. Political leaders and major institutions act as though by convincing a handful of rich sociopaths we can save life on the planet.

Yet power does not, and never has, surrendered anything without a fight or creation of something new. Our uncomfortable future demands that climate criminals should not be enabled with our caps in hand with appeals to do the right thing – certainly those outcomes have been far too modest to date. The rules of the game must change that would remove them from their pedestals of power and our addictions to things we really do not need (and often having them increases the cycle and need for more) while altering the current definitions of value including patriarchal approaches thousands of years old of competition and “winning” at the expense of another.

At COP we are like hamsters on a wheel, living off the ripples of colonialism and wealth accumulation while discussing the speed at which the wheel turns through a series of silos and frameworks. What is needed is to get off that wheel and reconnect with our essence, the earth, and one another.

In this madness, the darker your skin the more you pick up the slack now resulting in myriads of climate refugees fleeing a crisis created while a minority of the planet went shopping. Under current conditions this phenomenon will play out over and over. Hungry people intent on survival will be blamed and shamed, even attacked for doing the only thing left to them: escape to a better place. When people are hungry, what can you expect? Famine breeds war and conflict. The world’s greatest militarist, the United States, built on dispossession has essentially been at war with someone on a continuous basis for nearly two centuries of conquest, often aided by one ally or another. Since 2001, that nation alone has spent $7.6 trillion on the military and Homeland Security in an ongoing war economy.

Little was accomplished at COP, a few very modest breakthroughs (or diversion) lacking any enforcement mechanisms or meaningfully incorporating a gender or Indigenous analysis into the core of action. While climate talks are essential, they are rendered ineffective by living in this bubble. One former UNFCCC official told me that people know this but are locked into a series of “frameworks” and disconnected silo building that does not dare upset the apple cart, a centuries-long mercantilism built on exploitation, greed and accumulation at the expense of the other and all living systems. This same system that uses the atmosphere as a chemical sink for profit. The oil continues to flow and the coal dug.

No longer can it be business as usual where the new normal is unprecedented and frequent catastrophic weather conditions (which can only get worse) and will be normalized for new generations. A tweak here and there won’t cut it.

Indigenous peoples appear to have a better grasp of living with the earth rather than against it as their lands continue to be exploited for resource extraction and profits. Indigenous voices are tolerated, welcomed even, but rarely is this wisdom applied to our reality. In the Canadian context, this vision is met by a system where Indigenous colonized peoples are undermined by super mines, pipelines and general disrespect.

It does feel good to see any progress whatsoever and we hang our hat on that. Political cachet can be earned by playing to domestic audiences as part of this theatre. No better example exists than the myth of Canada as a progressive nation and its new proposed phase-out of coal policy. Through carbon offsets, which shall keep the coal burning until at least 2060 and exports continuing after that date (hardly a victory). While presented as progress it is ineffective, and a diversion which obscures the continuing plan to build pipelines and keep dirty Canadian oil flowing. The tyranny of oil extraction and the use of the atmosphere as a chemical sink for profit remains while the human and animal population subsidize this senseless tragedy.

Who will take on international transport, shipping and aviation? If these sectors were a country they would be the seventh largest polluter where products that could be produced locally at less environmental cost are shipped vast distances.

What does this mean for workers? As we say, don’t oppose, propose. The Union I represent, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers know that a just transition out of destructive practices requires better approaches that we all need to be a part of. We live in a society where some work too much and others have no possibility at all. Incorporation of other more holistic and sustainable values allows us to step outside the box and refocus. Our Delivering Community Power initiative, driving Canada Post to be an engine of the next economy including the use of renewable non-polluting energy, transforming and retro-fitting post offices to produce energy at the local source and eliminate carbon from delivery systems– the latter which has already happened in over 20 cities in Norway (and is growing). Putting more postal workers on the street and less cars also means more face to face contact and added community value by checking in on senior citizens who are isolated. Postal workers have put climate change on the bargaining table. By incorporating Indigenous and feminist values of nurture and care into our future we shift the nature of work and become meaningful actors in solutions. This approach was energized and inspired by the LEAP Manifesto which calls for a restructuring of the Canadian economy and an end to the use of fossil fuels. This is framed by respect for Indigenous rights, internationalism, human rights, diversity, and environmental stewardship. We cannot leave it to corporations and politicians. We are all part of this solution now and have the opportunity to claim the space to do it.

The indigenous Ojibwe have a saying about the seven generations. They say that for every move we make, it must always be done with a view on how it could impact people seven generations from now. The leaders of this planet would do well to listen to that advice.

We require a new kind of COP. There will be no shopping on a dead planet and reassembling the deck chairs of the Titanic will not help. Creativity and better value systems can.

 

Dave Bleakney (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) über den Bonner Klimagipfel, die Notwendigkeit Spielregeln zu ändern und feministische und indigene Ansätze in die Bekämpfung des Klimawandels zu integrieren. Ein Gastbeitrag.

Ein Taxifahrer fasste den vergangenen Klimagipfel in Bonn sehr treffend zusammen. Auf die Frage, was er über den Gipfel dachte, antwortete er: »Das Klima ist in der Krise, aber hier geht es um Geld.« Und genau das ist das Problem. Was der Taxifahrer meint ist, dass es im Hinterkopf der Beteiligten nicht etwa die drohende Klimakrise ist, sondern die Profite aus destruktiven Produktionszyklen, Konsum, Verschiffung, Wachstumsmodellen und dem Transport von Produkten über weite Strecken. Bis auf wenige Ausnahmen wird dieses Problem ignoriert.

Wie äußert sich das? In Nordamerika ist es beispielsweise so, dass man die Lautstärke des Fernsehers runterregeln kann und auch ohne Ton sehen kann, dass eine Vielzahl an Werbungen anhand eines Schemas ablaufen: Jemand ist so lange unglücklich bis er ein bestimmtes Produkt besitzt und dann ist alles toll und jeder ist glücklich. Dieses Schema wiederholt sich immer und immer wieder. Kauf und lächle. Sehne dich nach Besitz als ob dieser uns irgendwie verbinden würde und ein Glücksmoment kreieren könne während die Erde brennt. Die Erde wurde von einem primitiven System des modernen Feudalismus verschlungen. Nur eine Handvoll Männer – um genau zu sein acht – besitzt die Hälfte des Planeten. In dieser empörenden Realität kann ein einzelner Mann mehr wert sein als eine ganze Nation. Führende Politiker und wichtige Institutionen tun so, als ob man durch das Überzeugen eine Handvoll reicher Soziopathen das Leben auf der Erde retten könnte.

Bis heute hat Macht noch nie etwas ohne Kampf aufgegeben oder etwas Neues erschaffen zu haben. Unsere unbequeme Zukunft verlangt, dass die Klimasünder nicht auch noch mit den Möglichkeiten ausgestattet werden sollten, für uns zu handeln. Sie haben bisher nur sehr selten das Richtige getan. Die Spielregeln müssen sich ändern. Die Klimasünder müssen vom Sockel der Macht gestoßen werden. Und wir müssen gegen unsere Sucht nach Dingen, die wir nicht wirklich brauchen ankämpfen. Diese treibt uns nur in einen Strudel aus Besitz und Verlangen. Außerdem muss man die gültigen Definitionen von Wert anpassen – auch indem man jahrhundertealte patriarchale Ansätze von Konkurrenz und Gewinn überdenkt.

Wir sind wie die Hamster in einem Rad. Wir zehren von den Wellen der Kolonialisierung und Wohlstandsakkumulation. Auf dem Klimagipfel konnten wir lediglich die Geschwindigkeit, mit der sich das Rad durch Silos und Gerüste dreht, diskutieren. Wir müssen von diesem Rad runterkommen und mit dem Wesentlichen in Einklang kommen: mit der Erde und miteinander.

In diesem Wahnsinn gilt: je dunkler die Hautfarbe, desto mehr ist man betroffen von den Auswirkungen der Klimakrise. Unzählige Klimaflüchtlinge fliehen von einer Krise, die sich entwickelt hat während eine kleine Zahl an Menschen auf dem Planeten einkaufen war. Unter den gegenwärtigen Bedingungen wird sich das nicht ändern. Hungernde Menschen, die versuchen zu überleben, werden selbst verantwortlich gemacht, ja sogar attackiert, dafür dass sie das Einzige tun, was ihnen übrigbleibt: an einen besseren Ort zu fliehen. Was kann man anderes erwarten, wenn Menschen hungern? Hunger verursacht Krieg und Konflikte. Die USA, die auf Enteignung gegründet sind, führen seit fast zwei Jahrzehnten ununterbrochen Eroberungskriege – oft mit Hilfe von Verbündeten. Seit 2001 haben die USA über 7,6 Billionen US-Dollar nur für Militär und Staatssicherheit in einer dauerhaften Kriegsökonomie ausgegeben.

Wenig wurde beim Klimagipfel in Bonn erreicht. Es gab einige, sehr kleine Durchbrüche, doch denen fehlt es an Durchsetzungsmechanismen. Indigene und Geschlechteranalysen fehlen völlig. Obwohl solche Klimagipfel essentiell für unsere Zukunft sind, sind sie unwirksam. Ein früherer Mitarbeiter der Klimarahmenkonvention der Vereinten Nationen erzählte mir, dass dies den Menschen durchaus bewusst sei, Rahmenbedingungen die Handlungsmöglichkeiten jedoch einschränken würden. Man würde nur die Pferde scheu machen, wenn man versucht, alles über den Haufen zu werfen: den jahrhundertealten Merkantilismus, das System aus Ausbeutung, Gier und Akkumulation auf Kosten anderer. Und so fließt das Öl weiter, wird die Kohle weiter abgebaut.

Es kann nicht weitergehen wie bisher. Das neue Normal ist beispiellos und die katastrophale Wetterlage kann auch nur noch schlimmer werden. Wir können den Zustand nicht für künftige Generationen normalisieren. Es hilft nicht, nur hier und da ein wenig zu verändern.

Indigene scheinen ein besseres Verständnis vom Leben im Einklang statt gegen die Erde zu haben während ihr Land weiterhin für Profite ausgebeutet wird. Indigene Stimmen werden oft ignoriert und nur selten wahrgenommen. Ihr Wissen nicht genutzt. Im kanadischen Kontext zeigt sich dies folgendermaßen: Indigene wurden kolonialisiert und heute durch Superminen, Pipelines und generelle Missachtung gefährdet.

Jeder Fortschritt, so klein er auch sein mag, fühlt sich gut an und wir halten daran fest. Politische Mehrheiten werden gewonnen, indem ihnen etwas vorgespielt wird. Es gibt kein besseres Beispiel als der Mythos des progressiven Kanadas und seinem Weg aus der Kohleabhängigkeit. Der Emissionsausgleich lässt die Kohle noch bis mindestens 2060 brennen und ermöglicht Exporte, die auch nach diesem Jahr noch weitergehen können. Was als Erfolg verkauft wird, ist in Wahrheit ineffektiv und eine Ablenkung von den Plänen, weitere Pipelines zu bauen und das dreckige kanadische Öl weiter fließen zu lassen. Die Ölgewinnung und der Schadstoffausstoß gehen weiter, zu lasten von Mensch und Tier.

Wer kann es mit dem internationalen Transport, dem Schiffs- und Flugverkehr aufnehmen? Wären diese Branchen ein Land, wären dieses der siebtgrößte Umweltverschmutzer. Produkte, die zu geringeren ökologischen Kosten lokal produziert werden könnten, werden über große Distanzen in diesem Land verfrachtet.

Was heißt das für die Arbeiter? Wir sagen: bekämpfe nicht, mache Vorschläge. Die Gewerkschaft der kanadischen Postangestellten (Canadian Union of Postal Workers), die ich vertrete, weiß, dass der Übergang aus einer zerstörerischen Praxis besserer Ansätze bedarf. Wir leben in einer Gesellschaft in der Arbeit sehr ungleich verteilt ist. Einige haben sehr viel, andere gar keine Arbeit. Ganzheitliche und nachhaltige Werte erlauben es uns, aus unserer kleinen Blase herauszutreten und uns neu zu orientieren. Unsere Initiative »Delivering Community Power« treibt die kanadische Post dazu an, ein Motor für eine neue Ökonomie zu sein – unter Einbeziehung von lokaler erneuerbarer und umweltfreundlicher Energie und der Nachrüstung von Poststellen. So kann die Post den CO2 Ausstoß ihrer Zuliefererkette reduzieren. In über 20 norwegischen Städten wird die Post schadstofffrei ausgeliefert. Weniger Autos auf den Straßen, dafür mehr Postangestellte. Das bedeutet auch mehr Kundenkontakt. Wir Postangestellte haben den Klimawandel auf den Verhandlungstisch gepackt.

Wir können das Wesen der Arbeit ändern, in dem wir indigene und feministische Werte für die Erziehung und Pflege einbeziehen. Unsere Ansätze werden inspiriert und angetrieben vom LEAP Manifesto, das eine Restrukturierung der kanadischen Ökonomie und ein Ende der fossilen Energien fordert. Dieses wird gerahmt vom Respekt für indigenes Recht, Internationalismus, Menschenrechte, Vielfalt und ökologische Verantwortung. Wir können es nicht der Politik und den Konzernen überlassen. Wir alle sind Teil der Lösung und haben Möglichkeiten, den Raum einzufordern, um etwas zu verändern.

Ein Sprichwort der indigenen Ojibway sagt: Jeder Schritt, den wir tun, muss immer mit Blick darauf passieren, wie er die Menschen in sieben Generationen beeinflussen kann. Den Einflussreichen der Welt täte gut daran, diesem Rat zu folgen.

Wir fordern eine neue Art des Klimagipfels. Auf einem toten Planeten kann man nicht mehr einkaufen. Es wird nicht helfen, die Stühle an Deck der Titanic wieder aufzubauen. Kreativität und ein besseres Wertesystem hingegen können helfen.

Dave Bleakney
2nd National Vice-President
Canadian Union of Postal Workers

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Note: Ironically I am posting this on the Langelle Photography web page on May Day minus 1, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain; the city where this exhibit was photographed in 2008 – OL

An Opening Reception was held MAY 5th – 6 to 9 p.m. on First Friday at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, 148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo.

Wine and Hors d’Oeuvres were available

Exhibit closes May 26th

About the exhibit, from photographer Orin Langelle:

“I first exhibited this in Copenhagen, Denmark during the UN Convention on Climate Change in 2009 at the Klimaforum. It can be interpreted in many ways but my original take was on climate change and then others likened it to the fleeting movement of our existence. I’ve been urged by several artists to display the exhibit in Buffalo because they feel, as do I, in the age of Trump, we are in an existential crisis and the concept of humanity is rapidly disappearing.

“I shot the exhibit in Barcelona, Spain in 2008, in two nights while I stood on a balcony ledge photographing the people who passed by on the avenue below.”

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NEWS on Chile delegation investigation

An international delegation from the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees arrived in Sanitago, Chile on 20 March 2017 to document the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations in the country, and their link to the recent wildfires that were the worst in Chile’s history.

Español abajo

Português abaixo

Español abajo

Português abaixo

This above a one minute trailer for a short video we recently completed about the struggle of Brazil’s MST (Landless Worker’s Movement) against the vast expanses of industrial eucalyptus plantations in the country.

The trailer and the full video is in Portuguese, with Spanish spoken translation and English subtitles.

The video is an interview with an MST militant, Eliane Oliveira, that we conducted in March during a delegation of the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees in Chile.

We were there investigating the social and ecological impacts of industrial timber plantations on people, water, wildfires and ecosystems, as well as the potential for GE tree plantations to worsen these already severe impacts.

We brought Eliane Oliveira and two other organizers from Brazil to speak with the Indigenous Mapuche and other rural communities in Chile about the campaigns waged against eucalyptus plantations and GE trees in Brazil and the overlaps with the struggles against tree plantations in Chile. Eliane spoke about the MST campaign that is taking back land from the plantations to give to landless peasants in Brazil.

This interview emerged from that delegation and those conversations:

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UPDATE: The international delegation from the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees (CSGETREES) completed their journey in Chile to document the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations in the country, and their link to the recent wildfires that were the worst in Chile’s history.

Reports such as this from Biofuelwatch: Stop GE Trees Delegation Investigate Expansion of Wood-Derived Bioenergy in Chile are starting to be filed. Also posted was a radio interview with Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) and CSGETREES on Pacifica’s flagship station, KPFK, in Los Angeles: GE Trees and Plantations in Chile.

Expect new postings several times a week. GJEP is going to release a video soon of a MST militant who was ob the delegation from Brazil. She speaks about land use, tree plantations, political prisoners and much more.

Please stay tuned to the Chile Blog

Photo of Chilean flag in front of some of the fire devastation. Photo: Langelle

Chile: Water is Life

(Posted while in Chile on the delegation.)

MAPU [Chile]-An international delegation from the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees arrived in Sanitago, Chile on 20 March 2017 to document the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations in the country, and their link to the recent wildfires that were the worst in Chile’s history.

The delegation also traveled to Mapu, the ancestral lands of the Indigenous Mapuche (People of the Earth) to investigate the depletion of water caused by the timber plantations and how this loss of water is impacting Mapuche sovereignty and the ability of the people to stay on the lands they have occupied for thousands of years. Only 13% of Mapuche people still live in the countryside, largely due to the loss of water on their lands.  The delegation also examined the impacts on other communities’ water rights, climatic disruption, repression, as well as gender issues and effects on women. Please view the ongoing fact-finding trip on the Chile Blog.

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(Rio Cautín near Temuco, Chile) Before an early morning water ceremony, Alfredo Seguel from Red de Defensa de los Territorios, an Indigenous Mapuche organization, speaks about the significance of this river to the Mapuche and the importance of water to all life.  Photo: Orin Langelle

From Santiago, the delegation traveled to Concepción where it visited communities devastated by massive wildfires.  It also traveled into the countryside to see the impacts on the people and the ecological damage caused by industrial monoculture pine and eucalyptus plantations. Members of the delegation visited several universities and were involved in presentations and community discussions. The delegation was sponsored by OLCA (Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales).

Due to the water required to grow pines and eucalyptus in the plantations, the communities' water supply is scarce. Photo Orin Langelle

Due to the water used by industrial monoculture plantations of pine and eucalyptus trees, there is a serious lack of water in rural communities, and some communities have no water at all.  Photo Orin Langelle

The community members that the delegation spoke to blamed the timber industry for starting the forest fires for insurance money. Many of the trees were heavily infested by insects and the fires provided insurance money to the industry for their lost trees.

All signs point to the potential in Chile for future plantations of genetically engineered trees, which would make these impacts much worse.

There will be a full report of the findings of the delegation’s investigation.


Additionally on 22 April there will be a gathering and march in Concepción called for by social movements with the theme Water is Life. This is prior to the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s (IUFRO) Tree Biotechnology Conference from 4-9 June in Concepción. Most of the scientific and industry people going to the IUFRO conference are pro-GE Trees.

For more information about the fact-finding trip to Chile with the international Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees on the Chile Blog.

 

 

 

 

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langelle-killsme_dsc_02761Featured Langelle Photography home page slider (right) was taken by Langelle during a protest march in Durban, South Africa during the United Nations Climate Conference in 2011. Langelle has six photographs in this touring show

 

Critical Information Collective Exhibit – World Social Forum 2016

Indigenous protesters at UN climate negotiations in Cancun 2010) Photo: Luka Tomac

Indigenous protesters at UN climate negotiations in Cancun (2010) Photo: Luka Tomac

Montreal, Canada – A photographic exhibit, Climate Change: Realities and Resistance, will be shown at the World Social Forum 2016 in Montreal from 9 – 14 August. This is the Canadian premier of Critical Information Collective‘s touring exhibition.

The World Premier took palace in Paris, France during the United Nations Climate Conference in 2016 and the North American debut was at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art in Buffalo, New York, 1 March through 29 April 2016.

CIC’s photos in Buffalo, Climate Change—Realities and Resistance, were part of the show Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change. Langellle Photography and ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery Director, Orin Langelle’s portion of the show in Paris, Buffalo and Montreal is entitled Struggles for Justice.

The exhibition in Montreal will include new panels focusing on the theme of industrial livestock farming and its impact on climate change and biodiversity.

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Volunteers Needed for the !Buen Vivir! Gallery

The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art at 148 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo NY, is currently seeking volunteers to help with staffing the gallery during open hours on Fridays 6 – 8 p.m. &  Saturdays 1 – 3 p.m., as well as helping with special projects. Our educational gallery with free admission hosts 3-4 shows per year and was founded to present an historical look at movements for change, struggle and everyday life. If interested please email Carolyn Lansom, Gallery Manager, <carolyn@globaljusticeecology.org> or call 716.931.5833.

Our current show runs through, April 29th Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change features two exhibits:

1. Climate Change—Realities and Resistance, photographs by Critical Information Collective (CIC)
2. Black on the Ground, White in the Air, artwork by Ashley Powell
This multi-faceted art and photographic show is designed to challenge viewers to think about what type of changes are necessary to effectively confront the root causes driving the extreme weather that is occurring globally.

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¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art announces a special Artist’s Talk for the show Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change by artist Ashley Powell on First Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. The gallery is located at 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, NY’s Allentown District.

Artist’s Talk: Powell will discuss her work and its relation to environmental racism, a topic of special relevance right now in light of the rising awareness of rising rates of lead poisoning in poor children and children of color in Flint Michigan, as well as right here in Buffalo.  Powell’s installation challenges people to think about environmental racism and classism.

Artwork: 2016 Ashley Powell, The Solution (To All Our Problems) Water Filter - 2016

Artwork: 2016 Ashley Powell, The Solution (To All Our Problems) Water Filter – 2016

The show Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change includes two interrelated exhibits:

       • Black on the Ground, White in the Air, artwork from Ashley Powell
       • Climate Change—Realities and Resistance, by international photographers from the Critical Information Collective makes its US debut after hanging at the UN Paris climate summit in December

The artist’s talk will be held on First Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. The gallery will be open for First Friday from 6-9 p.m.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres provided. The show runs through April 29.

For further information please contact Kip Doyle, Media Coordinator, +1.716.867.4080  <kip@globaljusticeecology.org>

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Note: This comes from The Public, a widely read weekly in the Buffalo, NY region. I want to point out that Climate Change: Realities and Resistance is an international exhibit first displayed at the UN climate negotiations in Paris last December. The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is pleased to host it’s first viewing in North America. The photography exhibit was curated by the Critical Information Collective.  – Orin Langelle

Events

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Photo: Luka Tomac [Croatia] Indigenous protestors at UNF climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico (2010)

Photo: Luka Tomac [Croatia] Indigenous protestors at UNF climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico (2010)

by Evan James

[ART] The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery presents a thought provoking look at some of today’s most troubling issues in Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change. Intended to explore the causes of climate change, and how racism, classism, and environmental destruction play into it, this show contains Climate Change: Realities and Resistance, a national exhibit featuring pictures from climate photographers, and Black on the Ground, White in the Air, an exhibit from artist Ashley Powell who made national waves with her “White Only” art project at UB. This exhibit opens Friday, March 4 running from 6pm to 9pm, but the exhibit will be on display until April 29.

When:
Fri Mar. 4, 6:00pm

Where:
Buen Vivir

148 Elmwood
Buffalo, NY

This article can be found in The Public here.

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The industrial revolution may have brought technological advances, but its reliance on fossil fuels also means that dirty technologies have proliferated, with consequences for our environment and our climate. Photo: Bogdan Bousca (Romania) bogdanbousca.finegallery.net

The industrial revolution may have brought technological advances, but its reliance on fossil fuels also means that dirty technologies have proliferated, with consequences for our environment and our climate. Photo ©: Bogdan Bousca (Romania) bogdanbousca.finegallery.net

Paris, France – Telling the story of the growing global demand for climate justice, featuring images from photographers in Australia, Croatia, Romania, the UK and the USA. This exhibition is on display in Paris during the UNFCCC COP 21 negotiations, at the Climate Action Zone (ZAC), 7-11 December. The address is Room Ecuries C, Centquatre, 5, rue Curial, 75019 Paris. (The closest metro stations are Stalingrad and Riquet.)

It includes images from the following Critical Information Collective photographers, in panels of six images: David Tao (Australia), Luka Tomac (Croatia), Bogdan Bousca (Romania), Orin Langelle (USA), Jason Taylor (UK), and JudithDeland (Australia). There is a seventh panel comprising images from Stephen D Melkisethian (USA), Susan Melkisethian (USA), Joseph O Holmes (USA) and Ronnie Hall (UK).

For the exhibit, please go to UN Climate Conference of the Parties 21 (COP 21) Exhibition: Climate Change—Realities and Resistance

The second showing of this exhibit will be at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. The exhibit opens there on 4 March 2016. That show will include work by artist Ashley Powell.

Notice that Orin Langelle, Buen Vivir! Gallery director, has one of the panels, Struggles for Justice, with six photographs in the Paris show, that is coming to Buffalo.

 

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unnamed-3The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is pleased to be able to release the online version of the exhibit that appeared in our gallery last July.  This documentary Multimedia online essay is titled: Free Speech – Earth Liberation Front Press Office April 5, 2001: Communications Equipment Seized by FBI Released 14 Years Later (Returned Objects: A Multimedia Art Installation)

Below is an edited excerpt from the Gallery statement about the exhibit:

Art means many different things

At the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery, the exhibits we choose illustrate and demonstrate the intersection of the realms of art and politics regarding the times in which we live.

Sometimes art should creatively communicate the reality hidden behind the propaganda we encounter in or our daily lives, where most communication is designed to sell something you probably do not need or that makes you feel good about yourself–from McMansions to reality shows, to drugs and/or belief systems with  no mental challenge.

In this exhibit, we demonstrate how art and Free Speech are intrinsically tied together. Fourteen years ago the FBI raided the Earth Liberation Front’s Press Office in Oregon and confiscated their communications equipment. The equipment seized by the FBI, along with related photography, news clips and Federal Agency documents are now on display online in Free Speech – Earth Liberation Front Press Office April 5, 2001: Communications Equipment Seized by FBI Released 14 Years Later (Returned Objects: A Multimedia Art Installation)

A group of artists and activists worked almost a month to turn a pile of obsolete office equipment seized from Burning Books co-owner Leslie James Pickering during the 2001 FBI raid into an installation highlighting free speech, art and state repression.

In addition to the now released office equipment (still tagged as evidence), the show features censored government documents, photographs, first-hand accounts, and statements by Pickering and Civil Rights attorney Michael Kuzma.

It is ludicrous and absurd that the FBI held these objects for fourteen years. If there were any incriminating evidence, it would likely have been found very quickly. The seizure of the equipment, and its confiscation for fourteen years, was intended to squash free speech.

This exhibit is about art, the repression and liberation of free speech and maybe a subliminal or not so subliminal message: In a world where we see more and more potentially apocalyptic scenes, especially with increasingly common climate catastrophes, is “civilization” and the dominant economic system pushing the inhabitants on Earth to the brink?

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Returned Objects: A Multimedia Art Installation opened on Wednesday, July 15 at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY.

The installation includes items seized in an April 5, 2001 raid by a Joint Terrorism Task Force led by the FBI on the Earth Liberation Front Press Office in Portland, OR. These objects, returned fourteen years after the raid, include fax machines, computers, a cell phone, phone books, and typewriters. The communications equipment seized belonged to the former ELF press officers, including current Buffalo Burning Books co-owner, Leslie James Pickering.
Orin Langelle, curator of the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery opens installation welcoming guests and thanking all those who helped put the show together. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Orin Langelle, curator of the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery opens installation welcoming guests and thanking all those who helped put the show together. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Although the gallery was prepared and lighting completed, with news clips rolling and photos and documents mounted on the wall prior to the opening on the 15th, the shipment of returned objects arrived at the gallery in boxes around 6:30 a.m. that morning, making for an interesting scramble for those working on the installation. The installation was finished at 6:02 p.m. – only two minutes late.

Leslie James Pickering, former Earth Liberation Front press officer, and co-owner of Buffalo's Burning Books, begins to explain the objects on display. Photo: Petermann

Leslie James Pickering, former Earth Liberation Front press officer, and co-owner of Buffalo’s Burning Books, begins to explain the objects on display. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

The last time Pickering saw the returned objects was fourteen years ago. Pickering continues to be watched by the FBI even though there was never any evidence that he participated in any action with the Earth Liberation Front.

Attorney Michael Kuzma, one of Pickering's attorneys, speaks to the crowd. Photo: Doyle/GJEP

Attorney Michael Kuzma, one of Pickering’s attorneys, speaks to the crowd. Photo: Doyle/GJEP

“The seizure of computers and other office equipment by the FBI from Leslie James Pickering and Craig Rosebraugh’s residence was aimed at crippling the ELF Press Office,” was one of Michael Kuzma’s statements on display at the gallery.

Pickering  (left) holds old Nokia mobile phone seized by FBI fourteen years ago. Photo: Doyle/GJEP

Pickering (left) holds old Nokia mobile phone seized by FBI fourteen years ago. Photo: Doyle/GJEP

Woman looking at some of the objects on display. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Woman watches the presentation through the window of the gallery’s front display space as part of the overflow crowd that did not fit into the packed room. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Outside of gallery. Attorney Daire B. Irwin (left). Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Outside of gallery. Attorney Daire B. Irwin (left). Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Another shot of Kuzma; this time looking at some of the items on display. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Another shot of Kuzma; this time looking at some of the items on display. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Another of Kuzma’s statements on the gallery wall read, “The primary mission of the FBI is to monitor and crush domestic political dissent.  In the case of Pickering and Rosebraugh, the FBI failed miserably in its attempt to quash Leslie and Craig’s First Amendment rights.  Both Leslie and Craig remain committed to the fight for political, social and economic justice.”

The installation will be on display until July 26th in the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery, 148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY.

Hours and more information about the art installation can be found here and:

Special Closing Reception, Sunday, July 26th – 3 to 5 p.m.

Former ELF Press Officer Leslie James Pickering and civil rights attorney Michael Kuzma will speak at the closing

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