Drawing with Extinction Rebellion in Paris

[by Marion Rivolier in Paris]

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the path of demonstrations. I am a little fearful so I choose non-violent manifestations in which I will be able to paint and draw. After a few Fridays “for the Climate” with the high school students and a demonstration against the Feminicides this summer, I was asked to report drawn traces of the October “RIO” by Extinction Rebellion, a non-violent movement that requires rapid awareness and concrete action by governments on recognizing the gravity and urgency of ecological crises, reducing greenhouse gases and immediately halting the destruction of terrestrial and ocean ecosystems.

Our first date is pretty quiet, a gathering to celebrate the opening of the week of festivities. We are in the Parc de la Villette, it is a bit cool, there are people, from all walks of life, young and old. It’s calm and relaxed. In the first watercolor, the crowd is treated almost in black and white, a range of colored grays and it is the bright colors of the flags that give movement, rustling and dynamism to the scene. It is a moving crowd treated with a single gesture without detail. We feel it throb.

I move through this crowd and meet the vermilion fanfare, they warm up and repeat a few songs. Positioned in front of madness, the musicians in red create a magnificent harmony with the building’s bright crimson. I feel that they will soon finish and move so I hurry to capture the brilliance of the instruments and the eccentricity of their costumes! 

There are so many actions or performances to capture that I don’t know where to turn. But I cannot resist painting an overview with the footbridge and the red follies characteristic of Parc de la Villette. The brightly colored flags and the powerful black acronym create a garish and colorful bandoleer. I have to slip away but I will come back next Saturday for “the Archipelago of the New Worlds”.


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