Radical Problems Require Radical Solutions: Activism and Environmentalism
A major element that helped shape my perspective on the environment was our reading of the graphic novel Algues vertes, l'histoire interdite (2019). This provocative book explores and highlights the environmental crisis affecting the beaches of Brittany, France. It serves as a stark reminder of the enormous consequences of human actions on our environment and planet, including deliberate and accidental ones. The author and illustrator, Inès Léraud and Pierre Van Hove, respectively, meticulously expose the facts surrounding the mysterious deaths caused by green algae. They reveal a disturbing reality where bodies are buried before autopsies can be performed, and where the interplay of influence, pressure and silence is commonplace.
The book shines a light on the fact that environmentalism is a movement against big players who manipulate the public by shifting responsibility from corporations to individuals. For example, while it is companies who produce the majority of greenhouse gas emissions (Gemenne et al. 141), they are the ones who created the concept of “carbon footprint” (Solnit) to blame individuals for the destruction of our planet. As part of my project for the assignment “The Ecology of Objects,” I sought to explore real activism and radical environmentalism, symbolized by my chosen object, the stone hammer.
My goal with the project is to help raise awareness of current environmental issues and to question the power structures that cause these issues. The stone hammer is a powerful symbol of resistance and solidarity with nature, reminding us that we need to take drastic action to protect our planet. My commitment to radical environmentalism and my project for “The Ecology of Objects” are the result of my new perspective, created through this course and my experiences in Metz.