eco visual activism.

Over the past week, I have been investigating and researching different forms of visual activism surrounding climate change and extinction. As a result, I found various campaigns, artist designs, and imagery that comments on the current state of our planet. One of the first designs I discovered was designed by Sebastian Frese for BUND, a German conservation organisation.

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Frese, Sebastian. “Every 60 Seconds”. November 2014, Digital Illustration.
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Frese, Sebastian. “Every 60 Seconds”. November 2014, Digital Illustration.
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Frese, Sebastian. “Every 60 Seconds”. November 2014, Digital Illustration.

These images are so raw and graphic it’s quite unnerving to view. It appears that the artist has intentionally done this to make it shocking to the viewer. To make a change, it’s vital to get everyone onboard. Grabbing imagery is an effective way to impact the audience; vivid conceptualisation can be haunting. The next selection of images where a campaign from the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

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“Every Animal Left”, N.D, Photographic Illustration.
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“Every Animal Left”, N.D, Photographic Illustration.
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“Every Animal Left”, N.D, Photographic Illustration.

I was quite taken aback by these designs, they’re more factual which makes it harder to swallow. These three species have so little left of their population that the numbers can fit on a single piece of paper (this could also have been helpful when dispersing the design). The use of simplicity and little information makes the viewer take a closer look, noting the comment in the bottom right corner with the number of the remaining species. The truth is often shocking enough without raw imagery; as is the case with this campaign.
I’ve been considering my own creative work during the analysis of these designs to manipulate my own ideas to make an impactful design. In my opinion, these sources were created to startle the onlooker both visually and factually. Many species are teetering on extinction due to climate change and human causes, we need to start to taking responsibility for our actions instead of burying our heads in the sand.

There is a large percentage of the population who believes that climate change is a hoax, created by scientist and organisations to earn money and scare people. President Donald Trump seems to be one of these non-believers, taking to Twitter several times questioning or stating that climate change isn’t real, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, however, I believe that the facts and scientific evidence are hard to ignore. Biologist, Zoologist and other professions who study animals can prove how thousands of species are declining but this can be easy to ignore when get caught up in our own lives. The truth itself is enough proof for me, with waters and temperatures rising, deforestation and the oil industry plaguing the Arctic and Amazon, it’s easy to see how this would affect the animals surrounding us. For a species that has such a heavy reliance on animals, it surprises me that we are doing so little.

As a consequence, if these effects continue unchallenged we will be living in a very different world. Scientific research has predicted that by 2050, “as the world warms, different regions can expect more extreme weather, increased volcanic activity, ocean acidification and even rising pollen counts” ( As if that isn’t scary enough, the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organisation created weather reports for countries all over the world in 2014. These were presented like your average 6pm news reports but with more shocking weather entailed. After some further research, I found one for New Zealand, however, I also attached the Tokyo report as the conditions in this video are alarming.

This task has been extremely eye-opening. It’s both fascinating and terrifying to read the information available online to inform us what’s going on. Before researching, I didn’t have near this level understanding and by digging deeper into this topic it has really given me a new perspective on the world around me. In conclusion, “The most important thing about global warming is this. Whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change is going to be left to the scientists, but it’s all of our responsibility to leave this planet in better shape for the future generations than we found it.” (Mike Huckabee).




Works Cited List:

@realDonaldTrump. “The concept of Global Warming” Twitter, 6th November 2012, 11:15 AM,

Geggel, Laura. “Climate Change get Graphic in 2050 Weather Forecast”. Science Live, 24th September 2014

Huckabee, Mike. Brainy Quote, N.D.

World Meteorological Organisation – WMO. “Weather Report 2050 – Japan”. Youtube, 4th September

World Meteorological Organisation – WMO. “Weather Report 2050 – MetService New Zealand”. Youtube, 22nd November



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