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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

"Restore Nature Now" - A Mobile Art Exhibition

Updated: Jun 25

Retirement has radicalised my Dad – he never used to be this protest-y. I took him on his first ever protest march (against Brexit) in 2016 – now he is taking me on (climate) protest marches! A total role reversal – and I am so proud of him.

He has been campaigning for Greenpeace ahead of the General Election – a non-party political initiative to mobilise Brits to vote with the climate in mind. He spent the entire march going around asking people to sign up to be a “climate voter” - I genuinely don't know how he does this as I am terrified of talking to people I don't know! So, I wandered around close by to him and took photos of all the fabulous animal costumes - the title of the march was 'Restore Nature Now'. There were a lot of sea creatures and insects, as well as mammals, and the RSPB contingent had these incredible giant bird puppets. The whole march was like a walking art exhibition – it was inspiring to be part of it.

My favourite placards were - of course – the ones that rhymed; ‘Less bollocks more pollocks’ and ‘birds not turds’.

I was taking a photo of a ladies back which had been decorated with hand-crocheted squids (I assume they are squids because they have 6 tentacles) and she offered to give me one!

My Dad made me walk from the front all the way to the back of the march – the benefit of which was that I got to see almost all the fabulous costumes – the downside was that I was exhausted before the march had even started. I was happy I managed to see Catherine briefly – she was playing a tiny tambourine with one of the many drum bands – and wearing an incredible hat she had made. I loved how the protest, although it had a very serious and alarming message, was also a creative celebration of biodiversity and wildlife.

With ongoing back pain from myy rib injury, I only made it as far as Green Park before I flaked out – but given that my legs had had a wobble and I’d nearly fallen off the pavement – I decided it was better to call it quits and head back to CSM to have a sit down. I met one of the second-year students for the first time, who said to me, “you don’t look British – you are too colourful!”. Which I think is possibly the biggest compliment anyone has ever given me (intentionally or not)! She also asked me for some of the rainbows which I had stuck to my cheeks - I am only too happy to spread some sparkly rainbows in the world.





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