Dispose of my guilt

Ximena Barker Huesca

2020

Ximena’s powerful work highlights and incorporates the contending need, on the one hand, for those with disabilities to use disposable plastic items, whilst also shouldering the guilt surrounding the environmental impact.

This work challenges this shaming, showing instead the importance of inclusion, of coming together, of broadening awareness and building solidarity in societies that care for each other as well as the planet.

About the artist

Hello! I’m Ximena, I'm a recent geography graduate. I've lived with the existential feeling of responsibility for the future ever since I learnt about anthropogenic environmental degradation and climate change. Due to health reasons, I am often unable to do traditional protest and activism activities, so sometimes I use art to deal with my frustration about this and explain how I feel.

How does this piece express intersectionality?

Ximena’s work highlights the really important, yet so often unheard, point that “many people cannot be the perfect climate-conscious consumer due to financial, physical, or access reasons”.

Many disposable products like pre-made food, pills, sanitary towels, medical equipment, straws are essential for their daily lives and environmental alternatives are not accessible for them. Therefore, in a society which encourages individualism and consumerism above community, guilt arises from a failure to save the environment by using so-called “wasteful” disposable products.

Dispose of my guilt calls for a shift away from shaming or excluding people towards supporting people in climate activism through means which still allow them to appropriately meet their needs. Instead, through collective action, multitudes of perspectives can enrich climate activism, the environment and our connections to each other.

Ximena highlights how “the most important part of the environmental fight is not being a perfect individual consumer, which is unreachable for many, but to collaborate with others and to listen to their struggles, especially marginalised people, to work together”

How can you act?

Educate yourself about issues of inaccessible activism, share what you learn and endeavour to be an active ally

Explore creative pieces which challenge the productive capitalist system and ask for inclusion of all bodies.

Diversify your feed, learn from people with disabilities and chronic illnesses as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+, BAME including Black and Indigenous.

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