The world’s two most powerful men have been spotted fighting on a Scarborough beach.
President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping were fighting over who was most to blame for the current climate emergency and the pollution of the world’s oceans.
The seaside spat was for a video project by York College art student Briony Wilson who was moved to act by the story of a sperm whale found dead off the Scottish coast with a 100kg giant litter ball in its stomach.
She made the leaders’ heads out of papier-mâché along with human hair and cat hair. And she surrounded the leaders with garbage bags and chicken wire, forming the shape of the dead whale.
She then videoed the fight scenes and edited it into a two-minute piece entitled ‘Wail’, overlain with whale song, speeches from Trump, Xi and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg as well as music from Wagner’s Lohengrin.
Satire makes a point
China and the US are the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, China is the major polluter of the oceans and the US removed itself from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Briony, 18, who lives in York and is a foundation year student at York College, said:
I find humour and satire is the most convincing way of transferring ideas, therefore mocking the climate and political situation, as depressing as it is, is the best way to show my point.
I chose to do performance and video art in this project, as it can be fuelled by rage and emotion, making it more impactful than painting and sculpture.
I wanted this piece to show who was to blame for the climate crisis, because as much as we can try individually, our efforts are effectively meaningless when the biggest world leaders are actively making the situation worse.
Passer-by Steve from Peasholme Green said: “I had to do a double take when I spotted the action on the beach!
“It was actually pretty entertaining. I’m all for anything that raises awareness of the climate crisis. Just look at Australia at the moment.”
The students removed all the rubbish and litter they brought along to create the piece.