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Artists and Activists Rise to Fight Climate Change

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A piece by Indonesian woodcut artist Ari Aminuddin. Rise for Climate

Environmentalists and creative minds around the world are gearing up for this month's major climate action events.

This weekend, people in 89 countries will mobilize for the Rise for Climate global grassroots movement. It will feature 748 local events and rallies across the globe, as well as the largest-ever West Coast climate march to be held in San Francisco this Saturday.


Rise for Climate participants seek a fossil-free world powered by 100 percent renewable energy. They will also demand bold action from policymakers ahead of the Global Action Climate Summit in San Francisco from Sept. 12-14.

To raise awareness for the Rise for Climate mobilizations, organizers commissioned artists from six continents to contribute pieces to the Art for Rise project that anyone can use for their own posters and demonstrations.

The featured artists hail from Brazil, Mânitow Sâkahikan territory in Canada, the Pacific Islands, Europe, Uganda and Indonesia.

One of the artists is Christi Belcourt, a Michif visual artist, Indigenous rights activist and opponent of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

"All life, even the rocks, need to be treated with respect," Belcourt said on the project website. "The sacred laws of this world are respect and reciprocity. When we stop following them, we as a species are out of balance with the rest of the world."

From left: Brazilian graffiti and street artist Mundano; Christi Belcourt of the Anishinaabeg territory in Canada; Ugandan poet and cinematographer, John Hillary Balyejusa Rise for Climate

Teleise Neemia Lesa, an artist from Samoa and New Zealand, contributed a unique symbol that showcases her solidarity with those in the low-lying Pacific Islands who are living on the frontlines of climate change, she said on the Rise for Climate website.

"There is a wealth of knowledge that has been passed down through generations of our ancestors living in harmony with nature. Through traditional indigenous practices our ancestors have taught us to respect the land and ocean," she added. "The symbols in this artwork represent powerful connections between our people, the ocean and our lands. The artwork symbolizes our hope to live in harmony with our lands and oceans."

The center of the symbol is a "Kikonang"—the Kirbati word for the coconut leaf windmill—and is a representation of a 100 percent renewable energy future in the Pacific.

Campaigners are welcome to download the artwork to build momentum for the Sept. 8 day of action. The images can be used for posters, art shows, projections, etc. Those interested are also invited to submit their own art work.

From left: Ari Aminuddin, a woodcut artist from Indonesia; Teleise Neemia Lesa, a Samoan/New Zealand born artist; Portuguese artist Daniela Paes Leão Rise for Climate

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