Last month climate activists staged protests at prominent art museums around the world by throwing food at famous artworks. Today, let’s think about and write about those protests. Keep reading to see today’s full writing prompt and my completed version of it.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Climate Activist Art
Write a scene in which one or more characters are staging a protest centered around climate change at an art museum. Consider: What are they saying or chanting as they protest? Are they engaging with their audience in any way?
Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt
A Statement Over Sunflowers, by K.E. Creighton
Jake and Liz were strolling up to the sunflowers of Van Gogh hand-in-hand, the taste of earl grey lingering on both their lips. It was sometime in the late afternoon but Liz had started to lose track of the minutes with him like this, as they wandered around the museum aimlessly, keeping warm and admiring each other as much as the art they were surrounded by.
It was a cold autumn day, so it was nice to have his proximity. And the proximity of well-known yet simple treasures. This was their third date in two weeks and Liz was drawn to Jake’s magnetic presence and voice. Until…
Before the two of them cleared a corner to move past the sunflowers, Jake dropped Liz’s hand and then the bag he had been carrying. The bag hit the floor with a loud thud that startled Liz and the art gazers in the anteroom. Suddenly, all eyes were on him and his motions. Jake unzipped the bag in a fury and took out two cans of soup. After he opened the cans he flung their contents onto the sunflowers in one fell swoop with no hesitation.
The pungent smell of processed tomato paste filled Liz’s nostrils as the echo of Jake’s voice filled the room. Within seconds the small room overflowed with people filming and photographing him as he stood in front of the sunflowers now covered in soup and shouted, “This painting isn’t more valuable than real sunflowers and our climate! Climate change is real and more important than this art! Let’s start acting like it and avert our gaze toward…”
Liz wasn’t able to hear anything else Jake said because the crowding onlookers recording Jake had pushed her out of the room and away from the warmth of previous moments among the undisturbed sunflowers.
[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]
Notes on Completing this Writing Prompt
I wanted to complete this writing prompt because I’m still not entirely sure what to think or feel about these protests. While I understand the protesters want to avert the gaze of everyone toward what they have to say about the climate crisis, I don’t think ruining important artwork is necessarily the best approach. In fact, there is a part of me that thinks it might be more harmful to their overall cause, which is incredibly unfortunate, because everyone should be paying attention to and acting on the current climate crisis.