Almost 1,500 children gathered on the beach in Durban to form the image of a roaring lion, sending a message to the leaders of COP17: show some courage and make the right decisions.
The image was developed after aerial artist John Quigley visited Addington Primary School. Stepped forward 15 year old Ado, who expertly drew the head of a lion, and in the process helped to make his classmates, and hundreds of other children from primary schools in Durban, into a living work of art. The event was supported by tck tck tck and Greenpeace volunteers, who helped the children take their places on the sand, as the scene was photographed and filmed from the air.
The UN climate negotiations are at a critical stage, with almost no progress so far, and only two days left to strike a deal for the climate. And as Ado celebrates his next birthday at the end of the summit, will our leaders offer anything to give him hope? The impacts of climate change are already destroying lives. The ‘grown ups’ in these negotiations are responsible for delivering a safe, sustainable, and more equitable world. Instead, they are engaging in playground tactics to save face, rather than saving the climate.
Failure to reach an agreement in Durban is not only a tragedy for the climate, it is a betrayal of the hopes, dreams and futures of millions of young people like Ado. Outside the climate summit the voices of a new generation are roaring for climate justice, but inside the negotiations, the lion sleeps tonight.
John Q - aerial artist, director, producer
Julia Jaye Posin - co-producer
Mayli M - design, art coordinator
Shayne Robinson - aerial photographer
Maarten Van Rouveroy - aerial videographer
Robert van Waarden - photographer
Nicolas Fojtu - videographer
Sara Penrhyn Jones - editor
with the support of the Global Campaign for Climate Action "tcktcktck" and Greenpeace International