Last week, a new public art initiative took place on the streets of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, when 41 Australian artists brandalized or replaced 78 advertising posters with bespoke thought-provoking images and messages. Following the ongoing efforts initiated by now international movement Brandalism, the newly installed images speak to the current climate crisis seen via devastating drought and unprecedented bush fires. As a direct reaction to the feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness experienced nationwide in recent weeks, the posters promote direct access to relevant information with over 30 charities highlighting the issue via QR code.
“As a collective group of Australian artists, we have been driven to reclaim public advertising space with posters speaking to the Australian government’s inaction on climate change and the devastating bushfires. We do not accept that this situation is ‘business as usual’. We are making these issues visible in our public spaces and in our media; areas monopolized by entities maintaining conservative climate denial agendas. If the newspapers won’t print the story, we will!” – Bushfire Brandalism
Beyond the bushfires, the intervention speaks more broadly to the use of conventional advertising space in Australia. With one entity controlling 59% of all daily newspaper sales, the artists question the position of the media landscape in Australia and its coverage of issues concerning climate change.