Remembering the Glaciers with Glacier Girl

Interview and words by Yana Kasa
Photography by J M Stasiuk and styled by Rhona Ezuma
Nineteen year old Elizabeth Farrell is changing the way we raise awareness for climate change. AKA Glacier Girl, Elizabeth is a Geography university student who is using her Instagram account to expose the dangers of global warming, as well as promote actions we can take as individuals to stop it getting worse. With over 7,000 followers on Instagram, she combines art with climate change in her Remember The Glaciers campaign to express her views and spread the word about climate change to ensure we help ourselves and future generations.

What would you say you’ve been doing to help prevent climate change?

“I think the biggest part of it is raising awareness, so that people can make their own conscious choices rather than telling people what to do. I feel like telling people what to do turns them off quite a lot, and if you’re asking too much it gets too preachy and everyone’s like ‘Urgh, go away’.”

Talk to us about your Remember The Glaciers project.

“The project is the name I picked from the start, it was inspired by a documentary Chasing Ice. It was almost like a diary about melting glaciers. For me, it was almost like a visual impact and consequences of the problem – something physical really. I called it Remember The Glaciers because I liked the idea that you remember them in your daily life. If we don’t act now they will only be remembered because they’ve gone.”

Which is more important to you, art or your campaign?

“Oh, campaign 100%. I wouldn’t even call it art. It’s more of a way of communicating visual ideas I have in my head. The problem seems so distant as we live in cities, so it’s hard to visualise it and remember it. I wanted to create something that would do that. People can also take their own interpretation from it which is good. Writing – its more direct and I’m not really good at it, which is why I use visual mediums.”

Do you have any specific goals you want to achieve in your campaign?

“I don’t really. It was really unexpected that the campaign took off. I’m only doing it for the awareness. It would be great if everyone was aware but I think having too many expectations is just not that useful. So, nothing specific except just progression.”

Who are your eco-icons (those people whose environmental activism inspired you)?

“100 % Naomi Klein all the way. She’s my number one. She communicates in such a better way in a sense that she’s not preaching to the choir. She’s not forcing anything on anyone, she also useful [sic] anecdotes which are so relateable. I do think it would be really cool if she spoke more for younger people though.”

How have you been using social media to help you with your activism?

“Well, social media is a massive thing at the moment and I can connect with lots of people which I wouldn’t be able to do in real life. It’s also a friendly DIY kind of thing, something everyone could do. It also makes it easy for people to share it and give their own response to it and stuff.”

So have you learned any lessons along the way from your followers’ feedback?

“I think the communication thing is the biggest thing, from people’s responses. Or if I’m not explaining myself properly I’ll see from comments and try to improve for the future. It’s sort of like a conversation with my viewers I think. I can see what is misunderstood. Sometimes I can get a bit detached as I’m studying geography and so when I get more responses from my viewers I get to see what I need to describe in more detail.”

You’re a major icon for a lot of people, what other Instagram accounts do you love?

“Hmm, what Instagram accounts do I love? There’s quite a few I guess. I don’t like how the new Instagram is not showing everyone the last feed, its quite annoying. It’s taken out loads of my favourites. Some of them changed their names but I’d have to say @h_a_r_m_l_e_s_s , @everydayclimatechange and @iiindiiia.”

Apart from being known for your online work, are there other things you wish people knew about you?

“That’s a really good question. Sometimes people ask a lot of personal questions about me as a person, but it’s not at all about that, its more about the message that I’m promoting. So it’s not about me as a person, I do have views and I use myself as a subject but really its just about the awareness.”

In your spare time how do you rest you mind, body and soul to take a break from your activism?

“I play the violin quite a lot. I do love that, but my flatmates get annoyed. What else do I do? Chilling with friends really and documentation.”

What is your superpower?

“Sometimes I get told that I have a different perception on life. Which is sometimes really not okay and really not helpful, but other times it can be a good thing.”

What things would you like to tell us?

“Be conscious consumers!”

 

You can find more about Glacier Girl and Remember The Glaciers on Instagram: @GLACIER996GIRL