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Micro-grant Award 10: Sewage Saturday

Our 10th funding award went to Little Blue Dot a artist-activist group focused on climate justice.

We were especially thrilled to award this micro-grant which was made up of £5 donations during our crowd-funder. Over 1 weekend we brought together all donations at £5 or less into one grant. Together it was £200!

Little Blue Dot started off within Extinction Rebellion (XR). Most of our current members met at an XR introductory training in Spring 2019, when we were randomly assigned to the same affinity group. Over time, we met up regularly, shared food, planned and took part in direct actions. Through these bonding experiences, we gradually evolved into a group of seven activist friends. We decided to leave XR and form an independent group in early 2020. We are a mix of young and old with different life and work experience. Two of the group are artists, others have skills in carpentry, teaching, IT and writing. Together, we have developed a focus on creative direct actions that are funny and visually arresting but founded on serious messages about climate justice.

The Sewage Saturday project took place on 9 October 2021. It was the second in a series. The first involved us making five giant emoji style poos from papier-mâché, and mounting them on floatation platforms made from reclaimed polystyrene. We towed the poos down the river Cam in Cambridge to protest against Water Companies increasingly dumping sewage in our waterways. The image of poo on a beautiful river is also symbolic of our wider dysfunctional relationship with the natural world as a whole. The first Sewage Saturday was very successful and got lots of publicity and interest. As a result, another group, SOS Whitstable, got in touch and asked if we would bring the poos to their protest against sewage dumping in the sea.

Their and our protests are part of a growing movement of climate activism in the run up to the COP26 climate conference and the passage of the Environment Bill through Parliament. SOS Whitstable’s invitation was a great opportunity for us to unite river and sea protests and intensify the pressure for change. At a practical level, it meant us repairing and rebuilding the poos and floats, and transporting us and them to Whitstable. The protest there will take part along the seafront, ending up at Southern Water’s sewage plant. High-profile speakers, including Green Party Peer and former leader Natalie Bennett, are invited and the whole event will be filmed, photographed and shared across social media platforms.

Artcry supported Little Blue Dot with £200 which allowed time to repair the artwork and cover transport costs to and from Whistable for the action. We loved the humorous and very clear message about sewage pollution and the danger to people and the environment from these actions.

Follow #saveourseas @SOSWhitsatble @lil_blue_dot to keep up to date with the campaign to end water pollution. It heads back through parliament for a second vote on Wednesday 27 October 2021 - have your say...

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