Posted by: rachelbr86 | December 16, 2010

Art as education

A number of weeks ago I attended an event in Atlanta, where I was introduced to the beehive collective.   They are a group of artist working for social change, and using their skill to tell stories of people.  What drew me to their organization was their True Cost of Coal campaign, and beautiful poster they produced from  it.

Coal has a major impact of climate change, our clean air. More than 40% of all carbon dioxide emitted in the U.S. each year, not to mention cancerous heavy metals and yucky, asthma causing particulates, comes from the burning of coal.  When the 56 religious groups spoke out asking the Senate to Save the Clean Air Act, they were fighting for regulations on coal burning that will effect Mountaintop removal and Appalachian communities.

The Beehive team’s True Cost of Coal campaign is organized and created with the help of those most affected.  Members of the organization spent over two years learning from people in West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  The group created a huge poster which tells the story of Mountain Top Removal and its effect on United States as a whole, and individual communities.  Starting with stories of our ancestors, and of colonization and industrialization of the US, then illustrating Mountaintop removal and climate change, and finally stories of resistance and regeneration.

The large image of the poster above is overwhelming, but there is educational booklet that will walk you through the poster. You can print copies of it for free from the collective.

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