After 7 years of activist art campaigns in South East Asia, Splash and Burn, together with Greenpeace Malaysia and Studio Birthplace hold polluters to account in protecting our right to clean air with legislative change.
After a year-long campaign of art and activism, #hazestories culminated in an exhibition curated by Ernest Zacharevic in Kuala Lumpur at REXKL. Over 2 weeks, “Haze: Coming Soon” welcomed over 6000 people in 10 days, collecting over 2000 signatures on our petition to demand accountability from major polluters. This petition will be presented at the ASEAN transboundary haze meeting in Singapore next month. The exhibition hosted artists filmmakers and activists all hosting educational and creative workshops. Greenpeace also supported a series of panel discussions, moderated by Environmental activist Melissa Tan, uniting creatives and enviromentalists to discuss the economic, social and environmental complexities around the haze.
“We want to encourage conversation and creative intervention to inspire action. Talking with a friend or family member or posting on socials is better than silence, we want to keep the issue present so that those responsible are held to account.” Ernest Zcharevic
The exhibition featured the film premiere of “Haze-zilla”, a satirical short film from Studio Birthplace addressing corporate greed and environmental destruction.
“We hope this film will serve as a catalyst for change, inspiring viewers to speak up and demand a more sustainable future.” Studio Birthplace
5 interventions have been executed by Splash and Burn artists this year including Ernest Zacharevic, political activist Fahmi Reza, street artist and illustrator Cloakwork and the collective Pangrok Sulap. The works supports a focused Malaysia-centric campaign to implement new laws protecting citizens right to clean air. Following a landmark complaint from Greenpeace with the Human Rights commission in December 2021 the project seeks legislative change through the enactment of a Transboundary Haze Pollution Act, or Clean Air Act to hold polluters to account.
The issue is now with experts pending a review that will issue new policy recommendations to the Malaysian Government “Instead of blaming our neighbours, let’s focus on what we can do on our own turf here in Malaysia.” said Heng, Greenpeace Malaysia’s lead campaigner. “We need a Transboundary Haze Pollution Act so that it can provide legal grounds to institutionalise checks and balances to ensure that Malaysian companies are not contributing to haze locally and abroad”.
In 2021, the United Nations declared that clean air would be considered a basic human right, each year in Malaysia this right is violated by big business, with no legal pathways or solutions to hold polluters to account.
Check out below to view “Haze-zilla”, a satirical short film from Studio Birthplace , and more photos from the exhibition.
“Haze: Coming Soon” by Ernest Zacharevic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia