Food Fight On Art: Climate Protesters Take a Stand 


Photo by: The Guardian

Climate Activists’ literal attack on art sparks controversy on the internet, does it make sense to target pieces of art if it has to do with saving our planet? 

“What is worth more—art or life?” On Oct. 14, 21 year old Phoebe Plummer went viral for throwing soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” and gluing her hand to the wall as a way to protest global warming. Phoebe Plummer is only one of many climate activists who have participated in the protest. These climate activists can be seen wearing shirts that show the logo of “Just Stop Oil”. 

Just Stop Oil is a non-violent organization that fights for the stoppage of fossil fuel use. Since these videos have popped up all over the internet, there has been some major controversy on whether this is the best way to fight global warming. 

One of the many questions circling around this topic against the Just Stop Oil, what has Van Gogh done to cause global warming? Why are these climate activists destroying priceless pieces of art that have nothing to do with the planet? Although stopping global warming is an important cause, throwing soup at centuries-old art is not an action that directly affects global warming. All these attacks on art have only drawn attention to the issue, not addressing global warming first hand. Of course, drawing attention to the issue is important and gets people talking, but is that enough when the issue at hand requires the highest level of urgency from the world? 

However, due to the boldness of Just Stop Oil the media has reposted and shared these videos, spreading their message across the world in a matter of seconds. Shock tactics are a big part of activism in social media. It is very difficult to address a matter that has an effect on the whole planet. Grabbing the attention of the media can go a long way. Maybe the intentions of Just Stop Oil are simply just to spread awareness, grab the attention of millions. 

Do shock tactics do the job in the world of activism, or is it a pointless gesture and brings no change? In this case, shock tactics do not work. Shock tactics only bring attention to the cause but not actual change. The media will just express their emotions, how angry, upset, and outraged they are about global warming. However, no action will be taken because being upset does not do anything productive. Taking direct action and holding big companies accountable is the only way to spark change.