For years, climate change has dominated global discussions, presenting humanity with unprecedented environmental challenges. Mark Skipper's story unfolds with his first encounter of climate activism in 2008. That first experience of direct action would go on to shape his mindset and viewpoint towards activism for years to come.


His first encounter was in 2008 when he joined a friend who was participating in a Camp for Climate Action. He travelled with a group of people to a power station where they would go on to camp nearby for a week. They ran training courses, gathered information and practised living in a sustainable fashion. On the final day the assembled group would proceed to execute the planned protest on the power station. Despite participating in all these practices, Mark found himself overwhelmed with a sense of being out of his depth throughout the experience. He mentioned that the only useful thing he did on that trip was “teach a couple of six year old boys how to saw”.  Just the day prior to the protest, he confronted his overwhelming sense of being out of his depth and opted to leave the encampment to allow himself time for reflection and to process his emotions regarding the impending experience.


The next time Mark came face to face with a direct action group was in 2018 when the Extinction Rebellion blocked the end of Mill road in protest. After all those years and reflection he felt an undeniable duty toward this cause, although he found himself gravitating towards less confrontational forms of activism. He noticed that many of his circle talked about the climate emergency regularly but intellectualised it which, despite the dire situation, allows people to emotionally detach from it.


After having experience with those 2 sides of climate activism he began to volunteer for Cambridge Carbon Footprint, which helped people talk about personal carbon footprints and how to improve them. However, the spectre of hypocrisy loomed large, leading Mark to return to his comfort zone: painting. He now captures the essence of protests and portrays the faces of climate activists under the titles of: Faces of Rebellion and Bitter Jug.  Find out more about Faces of Rebellion in my previous article about Mark available here: