Confronting the Climate: A Flowchart of the People’s Climate March is an image that tells the untold story of the complexity, breadth and impact of the People’s Climate March on today's climate movement. This isn’t just a poster- it’s a 6 ft x 1.5 ft collapsible tool for building the climate movement that, when put in the hands of educators, organizers, activists, and creative people like you, ignites rich conversation about what it will actually take to confront this crisis.
We are raising funds to print and distribute 5,000+ copies of Confronting the Climate: A Flowchart of the People’s Climate March. When you join this project, you are joining an effort to use the power of art to help attack one of the most complex and pressing issues of our time.
WHAT ART DOES FOR THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT:
No social movement has ever won without powerful art- and one reason the People’s Climate March was so successful was because of the work of hundreds and hundreds of artists. From giant posters plastered on buildings across the country to bike and bio-diesel powered floats, PCM was an outpouring of creativity in resistance to the climate crisis. This image is inspired by the art hundreds made for that day.
A compelling image is a conversation starter, an affirmation of shared values, a tone-setter, a reminder and an inspiration. Confronting the Climate: A flowchart of the People’s Climate March is designed to infuse physical space with language and imagery about the climate crisis that starts or supports critical conversation. As an archival image and a collection of tough questions, it is a piece of art that is sure to ignite more creative expression in the future!
SO WHAT IS THIS IMAGE, ACTUALLY?
This is an image about what it actually looks like to make change in today’s world. Based on interviews with hundreds of activists and organizers, it combines collage, storytelling, and diagrams to make connections between the lived experience of people on the ground at the People's Climate March and the biggest questions climate change forces us to ask about what it means to be alive. It’s about climate change, protest, making connections between your lived experience and big ideas, and about holding complexity and moving forward. So how does it do all of that? Let's break down what you’re actually looking at:
- AT THE BOTTOM of the image is a collage of photos from the People’s Climate March, a representative sample of the breadth of peoples and perspectives present that day. It shows the ways they told their own stories: from simple, hand drawn signs to elaborate community art projects.
- ABOVE THE CROWD is a guide to who marched: a series of giant yellow banners that name the different contingents. Taken together, these phrases tell the story of today’s climate movement. Above the banners, tiny flags made of Post-its list the communities and constituencies that marched in each thematic section.
- IN THE MIDDLE of the image is faint gray text: snippets of the stories of the people depicted below. A gray line connects each story to the faces in the crowd below, and to the larger questions that the story raises, above.
- AT THE TOP is a series of post-it notes with Venn Diagrams on them, naming two truths that in some way conflict or contradict each other. The Venn Diagrams are sorted in to categories, each named by an enormous questions about how climate change impacts society and our world.
- IN BETWEEN THE QUESTIONS are a series of statements that frame what this image is all about. If someone asks you what this poster about, you can point to that text!
- BEHIND IT ALL is a washy gray sky- a foreboding sky, perhaps filled with dense pollution or about to break into storm. From behind the horizon, a warm yellow light rises above the crowd- reminding us, in the words of Grace Paley, that the only recognizable feature of hope is action.
WHO IS RACHEL SCHRAGIS, AND WHY SHOULD I TRUST HER TO PULL THIS PROJECT OFF?
Confronting the Climate is an image produced by Rachel Schragis, with the support of hundreds of other activists, artists, and organizers. Some words from her perspective:
This image springs from the wisdom I've cultivated as a social movement arts practitioner to meet the needs I see as a climate movement organizer. As the coordinator of the People's Climate March arts team, I supported hundreds of creative projects for PCM, and worked with organizers and artists to develop a narrative framework that wove them all together. This image comes right out of those experiences, and I made it because I know that art is a way to pass forward the lessons I learned working on PCM. Because this is one person's attempt at an expression of something that included thousands, I wanted to include some more information about my own background as an artist, so you know what informs this project.
Before this project, I’ve made art with Occupy Wall Street, the Fight for $15, the Domestic Worker Justice movement and the Fossil Fuel Divestment movement. Time and time again, I’ve seen the art I make have an impact that long outlives the moment it was created for. Here are a few of my favorite examples:
Five years after Occupy Wall Street exploded into public consciousness, my illustration of the movement’s declaration still hangs in thousands of homes and is continually republished as an expression of the movement’s vision and impact.
At the beginning of the fossil fuel divestment movement, I made this image to explain the case for divestment- providing scientific, economic, historical, political, and tactical context. The image ended up the centerpiece of many teach-ins on divestment, and is still proudly displayed in the dorm rooms of divestment activist college students across the US.
My Unity Scroll project was created four years ago to help people fighting climate change to feel connected to the enormous movement they are part of. It depicts scenes of climate impact across North America- tarsands extraction, oil spills, extreme stormes, drought. It also shows many ways people are taking action: blocking new infrastructure projects, protesting in the streets, rebuilding after disasters, supporting and educating our neighbors. To this day, three copies travel the country and the world, where it's performed at conferences, trainings, direct actions, arts events and more.
Now I work with People’s Collective Arts, a network of creatives that supports creativity in many struggles for racial, economic, and climate justice. We’ll use this image as part of our continued work with the People’s Climate Movement and other climate campaigns, as well as our efforts to create connective tissue between different movements and arenas of struggle. I know that the community of artists and activists I work with in People’s Collective Arts will help keep this project accountable to the larger movement it’s designed to serve, and make sure it gets in the right hands.
WHAT YOUR MONEY WILL GO TO:
This is what we need to get the project off the ground:
- $7,500: minimum print edition (5,000 copies). We’re working with Graphic Litho, the awesome print shop responsible for reproducing all of the work of the Beehive Collective. The full color artist's prints will be folded and easy to ship and transport- like a map, but a map of people and ideas!
- $2,500: educational and distribution events- support for teach in, lectures, distro tents, etc. where this image will be become part of the fabric of the next phase of change.
- $2,000: high res scanning, post production, and video production.
- $600: shipping costs- what it costs to get the poster from the printers to all the places it's needed!
- $400: storage unit. Seems silly, but we’ll need a storage unit here in NYC to keep all of the copies in while we slowly distribute them everywhere! It’s all in the details...
- $1,000: 8% overhead for taxes and fees associated with this fundraiser. (Nothing comes for free in this world!)
- Total: $14,000
WHO THIS IMAGE IS FOR:
If you're still not sure if this is a project for you, here are some concrete reasons why this project is powerful and information about who might find it useful!
This is an image that captures the enormity of the People’s Climate March- great for individuals or groups who were at the march, or anyone who thinks it was inspiring.
This image explores how many different issues connect to climate change- it’s made to start conversations for people who come from other struggles or are looking to get beyond the basics.
This image shows what collective power looks like. Perfect for anyone teaching about social change in the past and the present.
This image connects the science to everyday life- it’s great for science teachers, nature lovers or natural history museums who want to think about the sociological side of their work.
The image is a teaching tool because it references many basic concepts about climate justice, organizing, and social movement building-but asks more questions than answers.
Please consider supporting this project, and pass it on to your friends! Thank you.
Risks and challenges
There are two big challenges this project faces:
1) Getting it in the right hands:
Organizing happens in endless little ways, in a million places: at home, at work, at school, in formal workshops and informal conversation. How do we get copies of this image to all the places it needs to go to be of use? We’re working hard to identify places to send posters for free or cheap, but we also need your help identifying those places. We’re using this Kickstarter not only to raise the necessary funds, but also to activate our networks: we need you to share the news!
2) Getting to scale:
An image of this size and complexity is a difficult printing job, and even the most flexible print shops require a minimum order to print it off. Working with Graphic Litho, we calculated that to make this project economically feasible, we need to print at least 5,000 copies- if we don’t hit that minimum, we can’t do it at all.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)