Environmentalist attacking artworks. Are they trying to raise awareness or discredit environmentalims? [closed]

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The Politicus
Nov 05, 2022 12:29 PM 0 Answers
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Recently there have been several attacks at famous artworks by people claiming to be environmentalists. Some glued themselves to artworks, others threw mashed potatoes at a painting by Monet and others threw soup at a painting by Van Gogh.

According to the articles they claimed that the purpose of their actions was to raise awareness about climate change and use of fossil fuels, but people are well aware of it, although politicians turn a blind eye to it, opposition to further investments on fossil fuels is already strong. Furthermore at least in Europe it recently was pushed up more by prices hikes than environmental concerns. Attacking in this way artworks not only is useless and futile, but it is also likely to backfire, to create rejection against the issue and in the long run it would end up associating environmentalism with stupid fanatics. It could backfire to the point that it is worth asking whether it was done on purpose.

I know that questions about internal motivations are not allowed by the forum rules, but in this case we are not dealing with a single action, this actually seems a coordinated campaign. The action was repeated several times is a short timespan and the media dedicated a lot of attention to these events. So answer should take into account not only the actual impact on the public of these actions, but also the likelihood of having such a mediatic effect with or without coordination.

Note: In the comments @Arno noticed the disconnect between the targets and the goal and he wondered why no one is blowing up gas stations or assassinating oil, coal and car executives. But between one extreme and the other there are thousands of different possibilities there is no need to reach such level of violence. The problem is that reasonable and more effective actions are covered by a wall of silence. For example I remember that when the war in Iraq started about 20 years ago, among the people protesting began to circulate the idea to boycott petrol stations owned by US companies (Esso and Texaco stations were still common back then). The oil companies reacted immediately, they hired some corrupt politicians who, pretending to be leftists, called for a boycott of the petrol stations managed by local companies alleging they somehow profited by the war. TV and newspapers were flooded by the story of the second boycott and the two boycotts neutralised each other. Notwithstanding the fact that on the paper the media system was extremely diverse, made up by dozen of independent newspapers and TV outlets there was no diversity of information all of them discussed to fake boycott.

The lack of diversity in the media does not prove that the actions against the artworks were done on purpose, they could have just handpicked the stories that suited them, but many people who repeat the same action without ever wondering whether it is wise seems really strange.

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  • November 5, 2022