Zombies took to the streets of Hamburg, Germany on Tuesday night to make a statement about political participation ahead of this year’s G20 Summit.
Dressed in grey clothes and painted grey from head to toe, hundreds of left-wing activists marched silently on a main street before midnight on Tuesday in its first major protest ahead of the G20 meetings later in the week.
The protest was originally organized by the German performance collective 1000 GESTALTEN (1,000 Figures), which was formed at the end of February of this year.
The sullen demonstration was intended as a statement on political apathy.
According to Sven Kämmerer, a member of the organizing group 1000 GESTALTEN, all kinds of people were involved in the performance across a wide range of age groups and professions.
“I think the reason why so many people got engaged in this project is that they share the same vision as our collective does…The message of our performance is: No change can start from some political elite, it starts with you and me,” said Kämmerer in an email statement to Global News
In the end, he said, over 1,000 people volunteered to participate in the event. While this year’s protest was the first performance art piece of 1000 GESTALTEN, Kämmerer says it will not be the last.
“This is the first performance art piece of the 1000 GESTALTEN. But not the last….I think we live in a time of new democratic movement. All over the world more people go on demonstrations, we see phenomenons like Science March, Woman’s March or Pulse of Europe. We see our performance as part of this movement,” said Kämmerer.
The annual G20 Summit is no stranger to protesters, but this year’s meetings will bring together several controversial leaders in the midst of growing political tensions on the world stage.
Trump is expected to meet with several world leaders, including Putin, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.
They’ll come after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords after the G7 Summit last month. In addition, there are several newly minted leaders attending the summit this year, including Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The collective explained ahead of the event that zombies were selected to represent political disengagement.
“The goal of our performance today is to move the people in their hearts, to give them the motivation to get politically engaged again,” event organizer Catalina Lopez told Reuters TV.
“We want to create an image, because we believe in the power of images… we want to motivate people to take part. To free themselves from their crusted shells, to take part in the political process.”
In a statement, the group said that protesters stationed themselves around the city before hundreds of them were to come together on July 5.
“The great power of art is that it’s a universal language. It doesn’t matter if you live in e.g. Germany, Canada, China or South Africa – our images can be understood anywhere by anyone…he first step to start any political action is to ask the right questions. We think that art is a great way to do that,” said Kämmerer in his statement.
Thousands of protesters are expected to turn out for the G20 meetings over the course of the week to march against issues such as globalization and a failure to tackle climate change.
As many as 20,000 police officers could be deployed amid the summit.
- With files from Reuters