Sunday, May 25, 2008

Greetings on Behalf of Our Environment (online and offline exhibit)

This year I am a participating artist in the Red Earth EcoArts Festival, Trinidad (see info below). The 2008 theme is 'Air' and I have interpreted it through photographs.The photographs, made into greeting cards to enable the interactive aspect of my piece
I have a few hundred surgical face masks, given to me in 2006 by some young activists (when we were actively involved in the anti-smelter movement). At first, I started taking portraits of people wearing the masks - to make a statement about air pollution created by smelters and all of the industrial 'parks' so rapidly being established here. But as I continued taking the photos, I realised that the masks speak about more than just air pollution. In T & T there are so many other elements stifling the lives of the people who live here. Crime, corruption, ignorance, rising cost of living, ineffective leadership ... the list goes on.

I invite you to check in on this blog over the next five days as I feature a 'mask photo' per day and an accompanying statement provided by the subject of each image. I will feature only five of the sixteen images online. The rest can be viewed at the off-line exhibit.

I will exhibit the photos at the Red Earth Festival as a series of sixteen limited edition 'activist greeting cards' (Greetings on behalf of Our Environment), each with a stamped envelope addressed to relevant 'people in power' ... i.e. those who are supposed to have the ability to put policies in place to help 'save' our environment. Those who purchase a card (or cards) at the exhibit are asked to not keep the card, but to write a heartfelt message on behalf of our environment and post it (stamp already provided) to the addressee on their envelope. Getting a multitude of people to sign the card on which you write your message should add impact.
The following is a release from the Red Earth Organisation, providing more details about the 2008 festival:

The Red Earth Festival is organised by the non-profit organization - Red Earth, which was founded by a group of environmentally motivated artists, administrators and other professionals, to promote environmental consciousness - through the arts. The Red Earth Festival will be held from 6 – 8 June 2008 under the theme: ‘Air’ the media through which we experience light, sound and ultimately, through which all life on our Red Earth travels.

Red Earth Unplugged The Red Earth Festival presents acts that can be staged with a minimum of disturbance to the natural acoustic environment. Red Earth is Unplugged. The three-day festival of the performing arts will be held in the beautiful natural environment of Tucker Valley in the Chaguaramas National Park. Performances will be staged in the open air at multiple locations throughout the park – the Bamboo Cathedral, Maqueripe Beach, Mango Grove, Samaan Park and other scenic sites in the valley.

The Festival Programme
The Festival programme will feature an eclectic mix of Aboriginal performances and contemporary work by local and regional artists with a preference for acts that are more acoustical and organic in nature. In 2007 the Festival included: Jazz under the stars, urban spoken word performers, contemporary dancers from Brazil, Suriname and French Guiana, the work of Salvadorian photographer Ludwig Rosales whose photographs of indigenous children have won him international acclaim, a smoke ceremony performed by the Carib Community of Trinidad, and outdoor cinema from Cuba. The Festival also included star-gazing, nature tours, beach clean-ups, children’s events, workshops and symposia.


Gary said...

keep up the good work!

human being said...

thanks Elspeth for letting me know about this...i'll check everyday

thanks also for your nice and wise comments

Lynn said...

Awesome project. Will the cards be for sale on line?

Elspeth said...

This is a limited edition interactive activism set (off line sale). Didn't think of online.