Grass-roots social and environmental campaigns that delight and inspire “can help put sustained pressure on business and governments by bringing renewed energy, kick-starting conversations, and sparking the imaginations of a whole new set of participants,” writes Frances Buckingham, an associate at management consultancy and think tank SustainAbility, at The Guardian.
In art, Buckingham writes:
The Brandalism campaign caught the attention of the press and public during COP21 in Paris when 600 bus shelters were plastered with satirical posters critiquing the corporate takeover of the climate talks. The artworks, installed in advertising spaces across Paris, challenged the environmental credentials of the car manufacturers, airlines, banks and fossil fuel energy companies involved in the climate discussions.
Earlier this year a “craftivism” campaign, run by the Craftivist Collective and ShareAction, was used to encourage Marks & Spencer to pay the living wage. Campaigners coordinated “stitch-ins” at branches of M&S across the UK to sew messages on to the company’s handkerchiefs, encouraging the company to adopt the living wage, to be delivered to the board and major shareholders. Stitch-in locations included London, Brighton, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham and Milton Keynes. The numbers were kept to 15 people or fewer so as to intrigue rather than intimidate the public. […]
M&S is meeting campaigners in January to discuss the issue.
In performance and dance:
In Spain, flamenco flash mobs [view a performance below] have been targeting banks for years. Organised by the anti-capitalist group Flo6x8, carefully choreographed performances are carried out in front of bank staff and customers, which are recorded and posted online. […]
Global movement One Billion Rising also taps into the power of dance, this time to address violence against women and girls. The platform sees dance as a way to unite sometimes disparate gender and feminist movements to bring about collective change.
The fight for workers’ social justice has been at the centre of many of these “risings”. In New York, One Billion Rising activists joined the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) to call for an increase in wages and an end to gender discrimination in the restaurant industry. The joint campaign secured an hourly minimum wage increase for 400,000 of the city’s workers living on tips.