‘Total destruction’: why fires are tearing across South America by Uki Goñi, Sam Cowie, and William Costa.
“…Humans should take a cue from the monkeys he studies. “We are told that individual action is the answer. Individual recycling, individual cutting back on consumption. But the cumulative effect of individual actions is a lie. You’ll never see a monkey defending a tree on its own. Male and female monkeys band together to defend it in groups. Collective action is the identifying characteristic of primates. They’re more cooperative than egotistical.”
Don’t Be Alone, Be Part of a Movement
This was painted for FIBOPA, the International Bodypainting Festival in Argentina. The theme was “ARDE – Fires in Latin America” and focused on all the various climate, agriculture, and real estate development factors that have contributed to intense forest fires in South America in 2020.
As I researched the fires in South America, I read an article in the Guardian: ‘Total destruction’: why fires are tearing across South America by Uki Goñi, Sam Cowie, and William Costa. I learned the sad news that fires in the Gran Chaco forest in Argentina have devastated the family groups of caraya monkeys (black-and-gold howlers) that Primatologist, Martin Kowalewski, studies.
A closing paragraph from Kowalewski in the article stood out to me about how the monkeys band together in groups to survive and how we humans could learn from them. It reminded me of Jane Fonda’s advice to climate activists during her interview on The Daily Show: “Don’t be alone, be part of a movement.”
In 2016 I was alone in my climate advocacy. Then I joined Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers and learned that the true power of the individual is in the group.
Model: Anja Yamaji
Body Painter: Breanna Cooke
Glowing Gone Campaign: Coral Reef Climate Action
The colors on these cards are the colors of Glowing, a global campaign using color and creativity to accelerate ocean protection and climate action to save coral reefs. Breanna has teamed up as an artist with the Glowing campaign, along with other designers and brands, to shed light on climate action before our reefs are glowing, glowing, gone.
The Glowing campaign was inspired from the filming of the Netflix Original Documentary, Chasing Coral and developed by The Ocean Agency in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Corals are glowing in vibrant colors in a desperate bid to survive climate change. It’s a warning going unnoticed that everyone needs to see. Learn more at Glowing.org.
Be A Seed
This piece was for Living Art America’s North American Bodypainting Championships in 2017. It’s about the analogy of a seed and how even when we feel buried, if we reach out, we’ll find there are lots of other seeds supporting each other with their roots. When they all bloom at once, they can change the landscape.
The front was about my first year after joining Citizens’ Climate Lobby and how we were like this swarm of seeds, coming together as climate advocates in Washington DC. You can see the Capitol building in the background on her stomach.
The faces are some of the teens involved with Our Children’s Trust. It was a group of youth from across the U.S. who brought a lawsuit against the US government to secure the legal right to a safe climate and a healthy atmosphere for all present and future generations.
Body Paint: Breanna Cooke assisted by Anja Yamaji
Model: Emma Dubin
Photo: Bonnie Stanley Photography
Face of Change: Climate Solutions
This piece was for Living Art America’s North American Bodypainting Championships in 2016. It’s about changing the “face” or images of climate change from polar bears on icebergs, to innovation and solutions to address it. We can do this by supporting scientific discovery of solutions to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, while also embracing existing solutions (like wind and solar) to power greener cities.
Body Painter: Breanna Cooke
Model: Imani Kimbrough
Photo: Craig Shaffer