‘Artivists’ create giant murals around the world as part of Greenpeace’s 50th anniversary

Influential Swiss artist duo Queen Kong kicked off a six month international art project with Greenpeace, Hope through Action, which will see giant murals painted in 12 countries around the world. The murals are part of Greenpeace’s 50th anniversary commemoration, which on 15 September 2021 marked five decades of campaigning, creative activism and nonviolent direct action. The first mural appeared this month in Zürich.

“‘Artivism’ was a presence in the first ever Greenpeace voyage in 1971, when the crew painted a banner combining both the ecology and peace symbols onto the sail of the Phyllis Cormack,” said Greenpeace murals curator Paul Earnshaw. “Since that day we have grown into a global organisation but the creativity and artivism present in that first campaign has been constant through five decades of activism worldwide. 

“To mark 50 years of Greenpeace, we invited Street Artists and muralists to create new pieces that will inspire people with hope for a green and peaceful future through their actions.”

The 30 metre-long mural created by Queen Kong in Zürich was visited by renowned street artist Harald Naegali who added one of his own signature pieces to the artwork. This is the first time the infamous “sprayer of Zürich” has appeared in public since before Covid lockdowns began. Naegali donated 50 of his pieces to Greenpeace for auction. “Why explain oneself in words when the solution lies in actions?” he said.

Over the next six months, murals will be painted in Switzerland, Israel, Russia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, the Philippines, Belgium, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. 

 

Photo: Swiss Street Art duo QueenKong paints above the roofs of Zurich © Emanuel Büchler / QueenKong / Greenpeace

 

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