Sticky Tar Sands Protest

As part of a European campaign Lush Cosmetics staff had themselves covered in molasses (representing dirty oil extracted from Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada) in front of their shops in 21 countries.

Oil extracted from Tar Sands in Canada is considered the most destructive project on planet Earth – it pollutes rivers and soil, destroys pristine boreal forest and kills wildlife and people. Not to mention the carbon footprint for this kind of oil extraction. If want to know more about this issue, here are some interesting links:

The Tar Sands Blow – a short clip on youtube

Dirty Oil – very informative documentary about the Alberta Tar Sands

Indigenous Environmental Network – an organisation campaigning against Tar Sands in Canada (amongst other topics they work on) – good info on the Tar Sands project and its devastating consequences.

Anyhow, I was there to take pictures of the event, and these are my favourite selects.

I liked her expression, she was the girl being covered in molasses, so just before she had molasses poured over her head, she suspiciously eyed the press guys.

A few moments later…

Yuck, see the sticky mess on my fingers!?

Starting to clean up the sticky mess.

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Protest

On National Holiday (26th of October) you could see these piggy balloons everywhere in the city, symbolising piggy banks as a sign of protest against the just released national budget.

A few days later there was a big protest march – mainly by students, but a lot of other people and organisations also took part, as the new budget means massive cutbacks for most of the people in Austria, not only for students.

I didn’t stay until the end, just snapped a few pictures…

This guy was using the opportunity to sell his newspaper (a newspaper made by homeless people in Vienna). He actually sold quite a lot!

Liked the following series of three pictures the most of all the pictures I had taken that day.

The atmosphere was really relaxed, even the police. Not happy with the framing though…

TriX400 in Rodinal 1+50

 

London, July 2010

To begin with – I changed the appearance of my blog, in order to be able to post larger pictures…

Just returned from a trip to the UK, and for the first time I left my Canon at home and travelled only with my ranegfinder… I found it actually very relaxing, it keeps you from just snapping away too many pictures you rarely watch ever again afterwards. So this is what I brought back.

As you might probably not realize from reading this post, this trip to London actually was a business trip.

But apart from long days of meetings, workshops and courses, it included lots of fun and exciting stuff as well – a scavenger hunt through London, a spa treatment right after the scavenger hunt (what a perfect way to end a long and exhausting day!!! If you want to know more: Lush Spa), a perfume launch in a gallery (if you are into perfumes, check it out, their fragrances are really amazing and extraordinary: Gorilla Perfume), a protest against tar sands, a frost fair in summer – including ice skating and swing boats and lots of other Christmas fun (GlĂĽhwein in July!) – and most important of all meeting lots of nice people.

We started of on Saturday with a country review (business stuff), it was still quite early. My colleague just moments before it was our turn for the review.

After we had finished the review we started off on a scavenger hunt through London (actually a really cool idea to keep all us international people busy and at the same time make us visit our shops and see some parts of the city). We had to visit as many of our shops as we could manage. In every shop we were given a challenge, which included lovely stuff like making your own ballistic (=bath bomb). We were shown by the lovely Jack and Chase how to do it and everyone could take their own Tisty Tosty home afterwards. Oh, and we had some camera guys filming us as well…

Jack with a bunch of Tisty Tosty moulds.

We also took part in a protest against tar sands in Canada right in front of Canada House at Trafalgar Square. Press already here and waiting to go.

Right before we started the protest the guys were checking out where to go next on our scav hunt, they were really focused on winning!

We all went to the back entrance of Canada House with posters and megaphone to draw police attention to us, in the meantime two other people prepared themselves at the main entrance for the “real” protest.

As soon as they were ready (covered in oil), we headed there as well, so when police came they were already sitting on the stairs at the main entrance on a Canadian flag all covered in oil (actually it was fake oil – molasses, but it looked very real).

If you have never heard of tar sands before – please check out this link: Indigenous Environmental Network. In a huge area in Alberta, Canada, oil is processed from tar sands, with desastrous impact on nature, animals and the local people. Most of the oil goes to the US, but the environmental impact is much bigger than only Canada and the US. I won’t go further into detail, but make sure you click the link and read a few bits, these guys really need everyone’s support for the cause and work hard to raise awareness and get the Canadian government to respect their rights and stop destroying vast areas of nature, leaving it poisoned, polluted and actually dead.

Police followed us, but they were quite relaxed…

Press photographers.

A few more impressions.

Cleaning up.

All ended peacefully.

I literally only had a few hours of free time in the city, so I managed only to take a few pictures, the rest of the time we stayed in a hotel in East Croydon, which is about one hour from London.

Covent Garden, in the underground.

Had to take one of these … Not perfect though…

Traditinal… The fish & chips might be traditional, but not the spelling! 🙂

Everywhere in London you see people having lunch somewhere outside, or even just a fag (since smoking is prohibited almost everywhere nowadays). Actually most of the time you don’t see the people, just their legs…

@ Trafalgar Square.

Rule Britannia!

As the weather was surprisingly nice most of the time, we often had lunch or dinner outside.

On the weekend a wedding reception was going on in the same hotel we stayed in. Children started to get bored, so they played some football. Not only children to be fair! 🙂

Magners.

Late evening discussions.

Watching.

In the underground to Heathrow Airport. Hipshot. Think I’ll have to practice a bit more in estimating distances. Although the exposure came out right.

Same lady hurring to check in.

Last one before we left. Waiting outside.

Quite a long entry, thanks for staying ’til the end!

Ah, yes – films – Agfa APX 100, Ilford FP4Plus 125 & Kodak TriX 400.