Thousands of environmentalists stripped naked and painted themselves blue in Britain Saturday to protest global warming in what activists are calling a performance art display.
An estimated 3,200 volunteers stripped and painted their bodies with a collection of four shades of blue selected by a photography team, then marched through the tiny town of Hull in East Yorkshire.
“It’s the idea that the bodies and humanity is flooding the streets,” Spencer Tunick, who organized and photographed the event, told The Guardian. “I was very surprised to see so many older people take part and so many people who had problems walking – wheelchairs, crutches, leg braces. They were resilient and we had young and old and I am so thankful to them.”
The protesters blocked traffic and shut down roads for 10 hours to represent the rising sea levels caused by global warming.
Tunick claims that naked human bodies juxtaposed in a public space inspired his work, saying “the natural, soft vulnerable body that’s up against the concrete world – it creates a dynamic that interests me.”
A local art museum will display the photographs next year.
The environmental movement has a long history of naked protesting. The same photographer organized 600 activists affiliated with Greenpeace to get naked on a glacier to “raise awareness” of global warming in 2007.
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