#FreeFromGas Guerrilla Projections
Since June 2022, the Artivist Network has been training and supporting grassroots climate activist groups across Europe in the organization and execution of decentralized guerrilla projection actions that aim to challenge dominant pro-gas narratives and dismantle the gas industry's outsize power in Europe. The “guerrilla projection” is an interventionist tool that offers a low-cost and highly visible way for small groups to repurpose public space for high-impact protest. By using this creative protest tactic, our goal is to visibilize the many dangers of fossil gas and the urgent need for a swift transition away from fossil fuel dependence in Europe. We are demanding a Europe #FreeFromGas - and ALL fossil fuels. The campaign gives particular focus to building strategic and contextualized responses to the rapidly changing political landscape created by the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine. Autonomy is left to local groups around specific targets, narratives, and objectives in order to encourage groups to shape this project to best support local campaigning goals. At the same time, we are providing them with action design support, projection equipment, sample projection content, media support, and training sessions (both online and offline).
Budapest, Hungary, June 2022:
The first training and guerrilla projection action was held in Budapest, Hungary, in June 2022 with the participation of fourteen art and climate activists from Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe. The multiday training included sessions on the importance of fighting gas in the climate movement, using a projector and video mapping software, action logic and planning, and strategies for effective communication and media outreach. The accompanying practice action was carried out in support of the #NotMyTaxonomy campaign, a Europe-wide mobilization that aimed to publicly pressure members of the European Parliament to vote against the inclusion of gas and nuclear in the EU taxonomy on sustainable finance. The training and practice action prepared participating activists to organize and carry out their own guerrilla projections against gas over the following months.
Mediaş (Romgaz HQ), Romania, July, 2022:
In the middle of a rainy summer night in Medias, Romania, a group of climate activists from Gastivists Romania and Fridays For Future Romania beamed protest slogans like “No More Gas” and “Black Sea + Romgaz = Dead Sea” onto the headquarters of Romgaz, the largest fossil gas extraction company in the country. The action denounced the company’s shortsighted and destructive efforts to explore and drill for more fossil gas in the Black Sea, and in particular, the proposed Neptun Deep project, which the company and the national government justify as being necessary to reduce Russian gas imports. The activists demanded that Romgaz admit that the fossil fuel era has come to end and stressed that all gas extraction fuels climate chaos, war, and militarization. They also expressed solidarity with the gas industry workers, underscoring that Romgaz has the moral responsibility to ensure that its workers transition into truly sustainable and green jobs of the future.
Warsaw (Copernicus Center of Science), Poland, August, 2022:
The Bombelki Collective, with visuals designed by Tajny Projekt, projected onto the Copernicus Centre of Science along the banks of the Vistula River. The action protested the Polish gas transmission system operator, Gaz-System, and its plans to install a floating LNG terminal in the Port of Gdansk. The activists used Warsaw’s famous science museum as a backdrop to highlight the stark contrast between climate science and the shortsighted business interests of Gaz-System. The action focused on how new LNG infrastructure would lock Poland into decades of more methane and carbon dioxide emissions and divert much-needed resources from a truly just and green energy transition for Poland. The activists also sought to expose the false industry narrative that gas is a cheap and stable fuel source for the Polish people and how corporations such as Gaz System cause suffering and death: crimes that are considered a side-product of their business model. They also stand in solidarity with Ukraine, highlighting that gas is a geopolitical instrument. The current energy crisis and Putin’s war in Ukraine has demonstrated just how vulnerable gas is to the volatility of global fossil-fuel markets and geopolitical conflict.
Berlin (Gas-fuelled Plant- operated by Vattenfall), Germany, August, 2022:
In the last week of August 2022, climate activists from Gas Exit projected onto the gas-fuelled plant in Berlin which is operated by Vattenfall. The action denounced how energy companies like Vattenfall fail to provide a realistic plan for integrating the plant into a truly renewable heat supply. The activists demanded that Vattenfall admit that radical restructuring of the heat supply in Berlin and other European cities is a must. They also emphasized that generating heat from renewables and dismantling fossil infrastructure must be at the core of any strategy toward that goal.
Milan, Italy, Gastech Conference, September, 2022:
As part of the #FreeFromGas guerrilla projection campaign, Extinction Rebellion and Scientist Rebellion Italy carried out an enormous projection action on the venue of the 2022 Gastech Conference in Milan, exposing the destructive consequences of this criminal industry.
The action protested the Gastech Conference by denouncing how fossil gas is just another dirty fossil fuel and that any new gas investments are investments in death and destruction as the climate crisis intensifies. In addition, the activists spotted the light on how companies like BP, Shell, and ENI are making billions in profits off of an energy crisis by helping to create, cashing out on the war in Ukraine, and financing dictatorship worldwide. .
They demanded that THE GAS ERA MUST END! They highlighted that now is the time to accelerate the transition away from all fossil fuels and radically scale up decentralized renewable energy, electrification, and energy efficiency across Europe.
Girona, Spain, Cathedral of Girona, October, 2022:
#StopMidcat: As part of the #FreeFromGas campaign, Xarxa per la Justícia Climàtica carried out a projection action in Girona on the 14th of October, 2022i In the framework of the international #RecuperemElFutur meeting, The activists projected a gas pipeline onto the Cathedral of Girona to warn of the danger of possible reactivation of the Midcat Pipeline. They denounce that the pipeline does not serve to guarantee #energysecurity and that its construction implies the destruction of the territory and biodiversity.
The action was carried out a week after the Spanish-German summit attended by Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz. The summit was intended to achieve an agreement to invest in this mega-pipeline; and in the framework of the meeting of movements for #climatejustice #RecuperemElFutur, local residents were calling for investment in medium and long-term solutions inside the framework of a real energy transition that responds to the climate crisis.
Members of the Xarxa per la Justícia Climàtica will continue mobilizing until a just energy transition is achieved, and announced future actions as long as the idea of building any other gas infrastructure remains on the table.
Prague The Ministery of The Environment, Czechia, October, 2022
As part of the Eastern European Climate Strike, the Artivist Network with activists from Eastern Europe organized a guerrilla projection Action in Prague on the 23rd of October. The climate activists projected onto the Ministry of the Environment to highlight the urgent need for Europe to decisively move to break its fossil fuel addiction. As the Czech Environmental Minister prepares to oversee EU Environment Council Meeting on the 24th of October will define the EU’s general negotiating mandate for the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the activists demanded the participants of the EU Environment Council Meeting admit that the fossil fuel era has come to end and stressed that all fossil fuel extraction fuels climate chaos, colonization, and militarization.