OSLO TO LONDON: A PERFORMANCE

I travelled from Oslo to London (and back) by train, beginning Friday 13 September 2019. The journey was an academic, artistic, and activist performance. The purpose was originally to explore the climate activism of Extinction in Rebellion in London in the buildup to the International Rebellion of October 7.

I was only supposed to be gone a week or so.

I was gone a full month, taking me some unexpected places and resulting in several thousand photographs taken as part of my visual urban ethnography of climate activism. My journey ended Sunday 13 October 2019.

In London, I joined Extinction Rebellion’s funeral procession, the finale of a number of actions for London Fashion Week. I took non-violent direct action training in Southwark, attended the Heading for Extinction lecture in Lewisham. I dérived around North London.

In Dover, I attended a blockade of the port (and even got a shout-out in The Guardian)

From London, I travelled to the Netherlands. I attended the Heading for Extinction lecture in Amsterdam, did well-being training in Utrecht. In Den Haag, I participated in the action briefing for the International Rebellion planned for Amsterdam.

I then found myself in the action in Berlin, where I joined up with rebels from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark who also travelled by land for the International Rebellion.

My fieldnotes include daily live tweets and threads from twitter, or my #twitternotes, and are spontaneous field observations tweeted live from the field with photographs taken on my mobile phone.

I am presently working on transforming my longer fieldnotes into some new writing. I will also be making a short film which will be shown in the virtual session ‘Voices from the field — Research on the climate crisis’ at the 2020 American Association of Geographers annual meeting. I have also discussed this performance in a number of talks, which are listed here.  I hope to share some of my extensive photography from this fieldwork in future.

In the following post,  you will find a brief prose introduction to this fieldwork trip, which gives some background on the trip’s motivations. This is followed by 31 days of fieldnotes presented in chronological order. You can skip head by following the links below, if you prefer.

Day 1. Oslo to Malmö by train
Day 2: Retracing steps in Malmö and Lund
Day 3: Malmö to Hamburg by train, bus, train, ferry, train
Day 4: Hamburg to London by train
Day 5: Extinction Rebellion and London Fashion Week
Day 6: Writing day in North London
Day 7: Architecture of emergency at the Barbican
Day 8:  Global Climate Strike in London
Day 9: Blockade of Dover Port by Extinction Rebellion
Day 10. Rest day in South London
Day 11. Non-violent direct action training with Extinction Rebellion Southwark
Day 12. Writing day in South London
Day 13.  Somerset House and returning to Wood Green
Day 14. Heading for Extinction in Lewisham
Day 15. North London dérive
Day 16.  London to Den Haag by train
Day 17. Rest day in Den Haag
Day 18. Preparing for the International Rebellion in Amsterdam
Day 19. Morning reflections in Den Haag, Well-being training with Extinction Rebellion in Utrecht
Day 20. Reflections and regenerative culture in Den Haag
Day 21. Writing day in Den Haag
Day 22. Self care and horror films in Den Haag
Day 23. Extinction Rebellion action briefing in Den Haag
Day 24. Den Haag to Amsterdam to Hannover to Berlin, evening at the Klimacamp
Day 25. Berlinblockierien: Following the Red Rebels from Potsdamer Platz to Siegessäule
Day 26. Berlinblockieren: A day at the Siegessäule blockade
Day 27.  Berlinblockieren: Evening under the bridge at the Jannowitzbrücke blockade
Day 28.  Berlinblockieren: Marschallbrücke, Klimacamp, swarming at Natural History Museum
Day 29.  Berlin to Hamburg to Copenhagen to Malmö
Day 30. Last day, writing day in Malmö
Day 31. Homeward bound


Close up of Extinction Rebellion’s Red Rebels taking a moment to confer amidst a rare bit of sun, the Extinction Rebellion symbol drawn in marker on one of the rebel’s palms. Berlin, October 2019.