A live animation show celebrating twenty years of the environmental direct action network Earth First! It gathers together the stories of many activists – from the treetops of Newbury to the tops of power stations.
It uses a magically simple technique – the effect is like an animated zine. This involves using cut out drawings presented against a small black back drop, captured on a video camera and projected live onto a large screen. It is accompanied with live music and lo-tech sound effects – including some from the audience. It is a portable show that can be performed in many spaces including marquees and out of doors. It can be transported by bike.
The show grew from workshops and storytelling sessions with groups of current and former campaigners. We explored with them which events and images best represented their story – and what animals they should be! The decision to portray activists as animals is inspired by the work of the Beehive Collective – to avoid easy stereotyping of people, and to acknowledge the dependence on the land that we share with animals – and in some cases to reflect the fauna of the land being defended.
The show was first performed in 2011 at the Earth First! summer gathering. It has been performed, with new stories added, at multiple times since.