People on St Helena were being urged to form up at Francis Plain on Saturday, 23 March 2013, to spell out a giant “2016” – the year the island’s airport is due to be open. The plan was to photograph the gathering as part of global Earth Hour. MATT JOSHUA explained.
Earth Hour is the single, largest symbolic mass participation event in the world.
Born out of a hope that people would mobilize to take action on climate change, Earth Hour now inspires a global community of millions of people across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment.
Originally we wanted to do our 2016 formation on the airport site, and, possibly quite adventurously, wanted to have the image taken by satellite.
Basil Read [the airport construction firm] gave us their full support, but finding a satellite proved to be a little difficult.
So we moved location to Francis Plain – a large flat space, but also allowing a bird’s-eye-view photo from High Knoll Fort.
Access is easier and getting photographers up to High Knoll is considerably easier than finding a spare satellite!
Some might find it odd, promoting the opening of the airport through Earth Hour, given that all air travel does have a large carbon footprint. But given our location, whether you get to St Helena by boat or by plane, there’s still a sizeable carbon footprint.
What we are doing is raising awareness through action.
People all over the world were expected to turn off their electricity for an hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm, whatever their time zone. Find pictures here.