Cloud Handle

Date – 2106

Place – Oslo, Norway

The original function of the Cloud Handle is open to conjecture but its use as a symbol is unequivocal.

Many eco-activist groups had abandoned peaceful protest after the Arctic and Antarctic regions had been opened up to mineral and oil extraction in 2065. These pristine environments, formerly protected by international statutes, were the last of the Safe Haven Biodiversity Parks to fall under the relentless pressure of the huge international Mining Corporations.

Oil terminals, Sea Ports, Mines and Corporate Headquarters were targeted by increasingly sophisticated and dangerous eco-terrorist groupings. The firebombing of the Rio Tinto offices in Dresden and the baroque cities subsequent destruction in the resulting fire storm in 2103, held too many unsettling echoes for the political classes across Europe and a heavily militarised crackdown against the youth activists began.

Increasing levels of violence across the developed and developing world forced the ageing environmentalist Greta Thunberg out of retirement. In a powerful and emotional speech from her wheelchair she asked the young activists:

“How can we take the control we need with our fists? – it is only with an open hand can we grasp the levers of power

The speech was streamed live to football stadiums, concert halls and cinemas across the world reaching an audience of billions. The response was the creation of one of the most powerful citizen-led movements in history.

The Cloud Handle image appeared on t-shirts, hats and banners – forever linked to this period of uncertainty, anger and change.

Return to exhibition