I am increasingly starting to believe Elon Musk’s theory that we are in some sort of weird simulated game. Every week of 2020 feels like an entirely new saga filled with affairs, aliens and apocalypses that take the world by storm and then is forgotten by Monday and replaced by more mayhem and scandals.
Although that comes with all of its positives (because I for sure want to forget a good 40 per cent of 2020 so far and we are only in July), a few weeks back I remember feeling a huge lump in my throat that the movements and protests taking place, like everything else, would be forgotten.
As soon as the hashtags left everyone’s trending topics and pints could be pulled again, I truly felt that the calls for change would simply be lost – and that filled me with fear.
That lump seems to have eased up a little as my hits and misses looks at some of the creativity that flourished this week allowing the freedom to show out, swap out or just plain shout out... as well as a miss that caught some out red handed and perhaps even red faced.
Statue of Black Lives Matter protester appears on Colston plinth
Kicking off with the hits and this one is truly top of the pops (or should we say top of the docks?): the raising of a sculpture in the likeliness of Jen Reid, a Black Lives Matter protestor, in place of the torn down and drowned Edward Colston statue.
This powerful and iconic statement by statue creator Marc Quinn dubbed “A Surge of Power” opened back up so many conversations around how we immortalise historical figures of the past but also allowed us to have some really interesting new ones.
First comes the realisation that 2020 is truly one for the history books – a story to tell (and maybe embellish just a little) whilst you’re in your rocking chair and an essay question in the 2120 final year exams.
Even more excitedly an opportunity to see, for the first time, a black woman encapsulated in a real influential and Statue of Liberty-esque way. From her curly hair to her powerful posture, it may be the first time we’ve witnessed a black woman in the UK portrayed in such a dynamic way rather than a stance of servitude.
Yes, just a day later the council decided to move the statue to a museum, but even for the 24 hours it was up, it said and did everything it needed to.
Promote Iceland, Let it Out
A little less soap box and maybe a little more shout box? Iceland tourist board has invited the world to record and play their screams from speakers placed in seven remote parts of their country.
The homepage states: “You’ve been through a lot this year and it looks like you need the perfect place to let your frustrations out. Somewhere big, vast and untouched. It looks like you need Iceland. Record your scream and we’ll release it in Iceland’s beautiful, wide-open spaces. And when you’re ready, come let it out for real. You’ll feel better, we promise.”
I don’t feel like I even need to break the campaign down any further. It sentimentally feels so spot on, because honestly, who doesn’t need to let out a good scream from the pits of their stomach at this point? The only thing left for me to do is to find a space in my house where I can truly let out the scream I need, without my neighbours calling the police to check if I’m okay.
Animal Rebellion turns Trafalgar Square fountains blood red
This one is a miss because I wouldn’t be surprised if you even missed that this happened.
Saturday saw Animal Rebellion protestors pour red dye into the Trafalgar Square fountains in a staged protest against animal farming, claiming the government has "blood on their hands". Similar protests and action by demonstrators allegedly took place in 20 cities including Bristol, Brighton and New York.
Now I for one, support the freedom of speech and protest in the western world and believe it can be paramount in demanding the change we want to see. I also really enjoy a cheeky stunt at a PR 101 destination such as Trafalgar Square.
However, the reason for it being the go-to spot for PRs is the fact that Trafalgar Square is a high footfall area and allows mass exposure. That is not so much the case when we are mid-pandemic and most people are locked at home so probably won’t see it – and most newspapers are too preoccupied to write about it.
Also, if you’re like me and have been able to wander around London recently, you would have noticed a rise in wildlife due to the drop in the usual hustle and bustle of London streets. Being an animal rights group and dying the fountains that an array of animals have recently begun to leisurely reside in – feels entirely counterproductive to the cause.
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