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I love murals in urban space. But I missed them in Galway. Meanwhile, something has changed. Thought-provoking photomontages appeared on several buildings in my city, and they called to me.
All photomontages created by Joe Lee, using photos he took of the Galway landscape, and some staged ones with Galway participants, featuring designs by Irish and Palestinian artists: Sohail Salem, Emily Ní Bhroin, Deirdre Kennedy, Ríonach Ní Néill, Jeni Roddy and Arran Murphy as part of the Drowned Galway which is a part of Hope it rains, directed by Ríonach Ní Néill. I wrote about it here and here.
On the photomontages, we can recognize familiar places in Galway, Ireland: the main pedestrian’s walk on Shop Street, Spanish Arch, or one of the local schools. However, these places in the pictures are presented as flooded with water. Yes, it rains mercilessly in Galway, but the floods are also the effects of climate change and the littering in the waters because rubbish pile up the water. The plastic microns from many rubbish make dangerous gyres which mix with the water, sand and also get into marine food plants. In a different way animals such as dolphins, whales, and seals often become entangled in drifting fishing ropes and die. The artists ask the question.
Can we walk on water?
How close does the future have to come before we care enough to act?
How we can get along with the next changes?
Do we know that tssunami can happen also in our city, one day?
Do we take care of our local place?
Sometimes the first step is to fold the paper box into smaller pieces and put it in the right basket. Or maybe taking a paper coffee cup with you than leaving it on a park bench. The children were throwing coke cans from the mountain to of Carrantuohill – so said to me my friend who runs a guesthouse in the mountains. He got angry with this ridiculous action and he admonished the surprised children.
Black humor or a vision of the future
My favorite photomontage is the picture of people walking down in the water on Shop Street. When I saw it, I thought of such a vision of Galway’s future, the rainiest city in Europe. However, a moment later came the reflection. What is happening to our planet? We still have a time of the pandemic, but maybe more changes are coming.
Recently, Wave Makers – volunteers of ECOC Galway 2020 have been cleaning the beaches for the second time, already. In Warsaw, in Poland, young people from the Extinction Rebellion Poland have protested against the passivity of politicians in the face of climate change which is also threatening the extinction of humanity. They are calling for a reduction in heat gas emissions and a change in the direction of the economy so that renewable resources are exploited at a rate that allows their complete recovery.
In Bulgaria, volunteers from the 25th Working Brigade of Pomorie Lake prepared two islands for migratory birds. They have cleaned the area of rubbish and fertilizing it with sand. My friend Tatyana Garkavaya was one of them and she described everything on her blog. Also, Enrico Bagnoli has motivated me and others in Galway to clean up their nearest areas, at the beginning of a pandemic. And his action mobilized Justa to clean up Odra riverside in Wrocław, Poland.
These are just some of the actions. Also, Ríonach Ní Néill in her projects shows that we can use things again and create something nice because recycling is an important matter.
I have to confess, I still use too much plastic. I have fabric bags for the shopping, but I pack sandwiches and even apples in plastic. How long will it take me to change? Galway murals call to me: It is the time!
We can do something for our planet. Maybe change our habbits? I know, it is no so easy, but we can try step by step. I think, we are not fully aware of a danger, so all educational, artistic actions and protests which talk about climate change are very necessary.
What do you think about this post? Thank your for your feedback!