Young Londoners take on air pollution

A group of 16 to 25-year-olds are fighting air pollution caused by traffic with an eye-catching billboard campaign. Their aim is to raise awareness among young Londoners about the perils of air pollution along some of London’s filthiest streets.

The Clean Air Now campaign wants to reach out to young Londoners and make them aware of the air pollution choking some of London’s busiest streets.

Artists Vasilisa Forbes and Claire Matthews have teamed up with photographer Terry Paul and a group of 16 to 25-year-old volunteers to produce 12 striking 3.5 x 6-metre posters, which they will post around the city.

With almost apocalyptic images of young people wearing gas masks in edgy, urban settings and featuring catchy hashtag phrases such as #WAR ON DIESEL or #GO ELECTRIC, the group is appealing to the youths of London who have grown up surrounded by air pollution their entire lives.

According to an article in the Guardian, the group paid to print the posters themselves and haven’t received any corporate sponsorship or other funding except for a billboard company that offered them free space.

“Billboards, due to their size and scale, are a great way to talk about this issue – they hover over London just like the pollution itself,” Forbes told the Guardian.

The posters explain that more than 9,000 people a year die prematurely in London as a result of air pollution – quoting a government figure.

The first posters will go up in Bethnal Green high street and will be followed by others at Kensington, Marble Arch and other busy and polluted streets around the city, writes the Guardian.


Image credit: Maina Kiai, flickr/Creative Commons

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