Block printing: raising awareness to protect the world

We are facing an unprecedented global emergency of our own making. We must act now. How can art help us tackle the climate crisis?

Handprints are displayed to attract people.

Extinction Rebellion organised the block printing event in Cardiff this weekend with a view to calling for the protection of the environment.

Climate change is happening all over the world due to human activity, which poses a real and serious threat to human beings. If this issue cannot be resolved in a timely manner, the whole of society will face disastrous consequences.

Lex Celnik, one of the organisers, said: “Because block printing is so tactile, because it allows people to come along and witness and see it themselves, and it is a little bit unusual, it creates an instant buy-in.

“People come over and engage with it in a way that is a bit different from just buying a t-shirt or donating. Everyone likes to be involved, so a little activity is a good way for people to get involved and create an instant memory.”

Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse.

David, another organiser, said: “People start to wake up and realise the climate is changing and there is something we can do about it before it is too late. Extinction Rebellion tries to raise awareness. People would normally get chance to talk to us and find what we are about.”

People gathered in Cardiff city centre to promote their environmental message through art.

Lex said: “The print blocking we are doing today is in aid of raising funds for the local Cardiff Extinction branch. We’re a non-profit organization; everything we raise goes back into those topics we are concerned about.

The three main topics Extinction Rebellion are concerned about, he said, are that the government must act now, the government must tell the truth and the government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

“Only by taking direct action do we think this is achievable, but all actions require money,” said Lex.

In the age where machines churn out yards of fabric imitations, this product is created by hand with skill and care, with fascinating little imperfections that cannot be replicated by a machine, which makes them very attractive.

Hand-printed works and tools.

Lex said that it takes about 5 minutes to print a thing and about 30 minutes to dry, so they get their washing line out and hang them up.

Illinca, a customer, said: “Block printing looks cool, I like rebellions, I am quite a rebel myself and I like anything that goes against the norm. I haven’t joined such an event until now but I am trying to get more active in such activities.”