Whaling Out For Change?

Although ‘In It For Good’, the 2015 Green Capital year officially ended on Friday.  It is fast approaching lent and off the back of 2015, there are several ‘giving up’ initiatives happening in Bristol one of which is an idea to give up or reduce the amount of plastic that we use.  Cotton buds, straws, plastic bottles and other litter often find their way into our rivers and ultimately into the sea.  Below is a photo of a collection of former cotton buds found in a recent 400m clean up of the River Avon.

CYsaaeRWEAEgoGlWe have long been questioning the effect that pollution, plastic and other factors may have upon us and the planet’s wildlife.  I am almost a month into my residency at the Arnolfini which runs alongside the exhibition VERTIGO SEA . I find it quite ironic that 2016 should start in part with a number of beached whales on our UK coast lines and around the coasts of our European neighbours.  I reflect on the ‘In Conversation’ event held with John Akomfrah at the Arnolfini just a few weeks ago where he rejected the suggestion that his work was prophetic or that he himself was a prophet.  But now with all the media attention on his work Vertigo Sea which explores the whaling industry, and the fact that there have been a total of 6 beached whales in the UK and 29 in total in just a matter of weeks the paranoid may ask if this is some kind of ‘sign’.

Scientists try to make sense of this and one reason relates to the military use of sonar.  So one has to pose the question is this mans fault?  And if so what must we all do?

Sperm Whales Beached In Skegness

Graffiti saying ‘mans fault’ is seen on the tail of one of three Sperm Whales that were found washed ashore on a beach near Skegness over the weekend on January 25.

Through my research I have started reading author Philip Hoare’s Leviathan which also led me to as learn about West Country philosopher Thomas Hobbes and his book of the same name from which I end this blog post with a quote.

And if this be madness in the multitude, it is the same in every particular man. For as in the midst of the sea, though a man perceive no sound of that part of the water next him, yet he is well assured that part contributes as much to the roaring of the sea as any other part of the same quantity: so also, though we perceive no great unquietness in one or two men, yet we may be well assured that their singular passions are parts of the seditious roaring of a troubled nation.”

― Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan



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