Corporate Fish In A Wretched Bay — Report From Rio+20

Story and photos Kari Koch

The fish on the Botafogo Beach in Rio have been getting a lot of attention this week and many beautiful pictures have been posted proclaiming the genius of building lovely art out of plastic water bottles.

I too was interested in these fish and today went to go see them for myself. Standing on the small beach on the bay that is too polluted for swimming, I stared at the fish jutting out of the sand. What I saw was a perfect example of exactly what happened at Rio+20 and what is continuing to be advanced by the “Green Economy”.

That shit was crumbling before my eyes.

This was a demonstration of how clever marketing and a pretty face can create lovely images that briefly cover the destruction of industry, but ultimately falls apart and leaves trash everywhere.

The water bottles are falling all over the beach and the bay at Botafogo Beach is wretched with pollutants and sewage.

The Green Economy wants us to think that our world can be preserved and sustained by continuing to create giant artifacts, plastic constructions, and endless growth. The truth is that we cannot continue to have endless growth. We cannot sustain our world and our lives by producing more and allowing corporate interests to buy off their pollution by owning a forest or by creating public art.

Instead of building fish, corporations need to clean up their messes, leave the public areas to the people who know how to protect them, and ultimately those corporations (and the plastic bottles they create) need to be dismantled.

The same system that created this mess cannot possibly understand how to build an alternative that sustains our world, our communities, and our lives.

This fish of Botafogo will soon be nothing more than plastic particles in trash bags; I will continue to struggle so that the neoliberal model and the corporations that operate within it will soon follow.

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