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On Saturday 12 January, an artist duo are staging a parade of waterfowl on Belfast’s Royal Avenue to highlight the urgent need for action on the climate crisis. A brace of ducks will waddle through the city guided by the artists.The duo who call themselves Utopia Ducks have been creating public art events that honour the natural environment and highlight climate injustice
“humans are the most destructive life force on the planet yet we believe we also possess within us the strength to make a positive change so that we and future generations can continue to thrive in peace and harmony. Utopia is here, it’s just ducking down behind exploitation and injustice” Utopia Ducks
Utopia Ducks are a collaboration of two female visual and performance artists, Rebecca Strain and Bernadette Hopkins based in Donegal. They are politically aware artists who engage in activism and bring their embodied knowledge as women to radically imagine and momentarily interrupt the everyday through performance art.
Utopia Ducks create utopian spaces outside the gallery space, engaging local communities and offering new possibilities.
‘Our physical location in Co. Donegal can be seen as rural, a land’s end and a periphery, while our lived experience is rooted in ‘think globally, act locally’
They work and live in impoverished communities who feel left behind by government and where employment is welcomed. Discussion such as damage to the natural environment by corporations, tends to conflict with the reality of poverty in everyday life. They research the experiential sense of place and ways in which communities can have governance in the place they live while preserving local culture and protecting their environments and food production. Utopia Ducks was conceived as a way to engage as artists embedded in communities, given the global condition of political, environmental and economic instability.
Birds with Aspirations