The latest artwork as part of Estonian NGO Mondo's #IShareHerPower campaign is a seven meter high mural in Tallinn's Ülemiste district, painted by artist Lex Zooz. The work's main theme is the issue of forest conservation, with Zooz taking inspiration from Kenyan environmental, social and political activist Wangari Maathai.
"I chose forest conservation as the subject of my work because it is close to my heart and is also a topical problem in Estonia," said Zooz.
"Studies have already shown that deforestation is not (being) controlled and can have serious climate (-related) consequences for our country. Wangari Maathai almost single-handedly stepped forward 50 years ago, when there were no conservation organizations, to protect African forests from global industrial and oil companies that were destroying Kenya and the entire African ecosystem," the artist explained.
"Knowing the example of a woman like this, I think people should be a little ashamed of how careless we are about nature, pretending that there is no problem. After all, there is a danger that something can be lost forever, if you don't pay enough attention to the problems," Zooz added.
The aim of the #IShareHerPower campaign is to use street art to talk about the impact of climate change on the daily lives of people living in hotter climates and lower-income countries. The campaign also aims to highlight the contribution of female climate activists and the fight for the future in different countries.
#IShareHerPower is set to include four major street art projects in Tallinn, as well as an art competition for young people and guided street art tours of the capital.
The first work was created by Maria-Liisa Leonidov, who, drawing inspiration from Mexican environmentalist Leydy Pech, gave an old, tired-looking substation in Kalamaja Park a new lease of life.
Tallinn's Nõmme School of Recreation was also given a makeover during the project by Finnish artist Essi Russkanen, whose work at the school was influenced by Chadian environmental activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim.
Russkanen said, she had chosen Ibrahim due to her work on combining indigenous knowledge with modern scientific approaches to find solutions to the climate-related challenges we all now face.
"(Ibrahim) also has a strong feminist voice and I have great respect for her work. The climate crisis and the collapse of biodiversity are the most important challenges of our time. These activists are doing all they can to save our shared planet. We should all stop making excuses and do the same," Ruuskanen said.
The #IShareHerPower campaign also includes the creation of a sticker album inspired by women activists, as well a sticker design competition, which is open to all 15-25 year-olds. The aim of the competition is to use art as a medium through which young people in Estonia are encouraged to think more about environmental issues and challenges. Introducing them to the work of environmental activists from around the world is also a means of motivating more young people to participate actively in conservation efforts and activities.
Editor: Michael Cole