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Hope Always Comes From The People
Art donated by Rhonda Babb
WE WILL BEAR WITNESS to this moment in history. This “glocal” media project feature stories from earth's citizens, recording climate destruction, devastation, resilience and hope. WE WILL BEAR WITNESS is a community project and pays contributors lifetime dividends. Pitch us to donate or contribute.
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This image references the work of activists in the UK and Europe who have been gluing themselves to paintings or throwing paint/oil/soup on famous works of art. This work pays homage to the ordinary people who are disrupting their own lives to demand that the world pay attention to the climate crisis unfolding before us. It begs the viewer to pay attention to the ills that have been unleashed on the world much like those released by Pandora from the box from Greek mythology. This image also contains a cautionary tale. After Pandora released all the evils from the box, the only remaining item left inside was “hope”. The myth served as a warning to not solely rely on hope by itself. Hope requires action to make change happen.
Some people have complicated relationships with their mothers, and this can include their connection to Mother Earth. Reflecting on the words of author and activist, Alice Walker, that complexity can offer us lessons and healing. This image is intentionally asking an important question and asking the viewer to spend time reflecting on why.
Coal miners once used canaries to indicate to presence of poisonous gases in mines. If the canary died, it was not safe for miners. Are our elected officials using us as the canary? Do they not see the signs of climate change happening every day? We deserve better. We deserve a future that is free from a minority representing their own interests over those of the people who they were elected to serve. Continuing inaction by US legislators is a constant source of frustration. We are running out of time to make any meaningful change.
Activist Greta Thunberg famously gave a speech which has been come to be known as the “Blah, Blah, Blah” speech during a pre-conference to the UN’s COP26 conference. She called out world leaders for their inaction. In the speech, Greta discussed hope. This line, “Hope always comes from the people”, resonated and inspired this image. The actions of the people will ultimately overcome the inactions of the leaders who are failing us.
Rhonda Babb (aka The Hope Symbol Project) is a screen printer, graphic artist, and photographer. As a graphic designer, her focus is on brand identity and marketing communications in the business-to-business arena and now for non-profits.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rhonda received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, PA where she majored in Fashion and Advertising Illustration. She returned to Moore for a Certification in Interior Decoration. Concern for the environment led Rhonda to earn a master’s degree in Sustainable Design from Philadelphia University now known as Thomas Jefferson University. She studied screen printing under Lisa Marie Hamilton and Tony Rosati at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in their Continuing Education Program. She is a member of cooperative printmaking studio and artist collective, BYO Print.
Rhonda lives and works in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Works can be found at: thehopesymbol.com and on Instagram @thehopesymbol
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