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LOOK: In Paris, Artists Turn Ad Spaces Into Climate Change Protests

Bus riders wait in a bus shelter that has been co-opted by a group of artists to protests big businesses' role in climate change.
Branbrook
Bus riders wait in a bus shelter that has been co-opted by a group of artists to protests big businesses' role in climate change.

As the United Nations summit on climate change got underway in Paris, protesters have gotten much attention.

That's especially true because the French government — in response to the terrorist attacks — banned mass gatherings. Today, that attention turned from those taking to the streets and clashing with police to a subversive art campaign that is replacing outdoor advertising spots with art posters indicting big corporations for their role in climate change.

One especially damning poster targets Volkswagen and recent revelations that the company had circumvented government emissions standards:

The ad reads: "Now that we've been caught, we're trying to make you think we care about the environment."

Brandalism, the U.K. outfit behind the so called "subvertising" campaign said it replaced the ads at 600 spots owned by the ad firm JC Decaux across Paris.

"We are taking their spaces back because we want to challenge the role advertising plays in promoting unsustainable consumerism," Joe Elan from Brandalism said in a statement. "Because the advertising industry force feeds our desires for products created from fossil fuels, they are intimately connected to causing climate change."

We've reached out to JC Decaux for comment but have not heard back. We'll update this post as soon as they respond.

With that, we'll leave you with a few more of the posters:

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Brandalism has organized two other "subvertising" campaigns in the United Kingdom.
/ Brandalism
/
Brandalism
Brandalism has organized two other "subvertising" campaigns in the United Kingdom.

An image of President Obama and his daughter is juxtaposed with an image of a burning oil spill.
/ Brandalism
/
Brandalism
An image of President Obama and his daughter is juxtaposed with an image of a burning oil spill.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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