Robert VanWaarden photographed youth participants at the Occupy COP-17 encampment in Durban during the Climate Conference, and Caroline Wambui spoke to them about why they were there, and what they hoped to achieve.
‘I am here because I recog-nize my global citizenship and understand that the system that we live in is one of shared problems, shared solutions and shared resources. We, the people, know this and under-stand this inherently.’
Angus Joseph, South Africa
‘I am here because I’m a global citizen and I really care about the Earth. One part of me feels I should forget the UNFCCC process. Let’s just retreat into our own communities, figure out how we can grow our own food, take care of ourselves and forget about this larger structure because it’s not going to change. But every single day emissions and pollution are compromising our ability to produce our own food, to breathe and to be able to live. So I am here because some-thing desperately needs to be done and I will do whatever I can to speak out.’
‘I am here because inside they are talking about my future, and they are talking about issues that affect each and every one of us, but they are doing it without us. They claim to represent the world but they are not listening to what the world has to say. So I am here to raise my voice and try to be heard, but also to listen and learn from everyone who is here today. It is these people that I put my faith in for creating something new and beautiful, something that will change the paradigm and bring about the global shift we so desperately need.’
Anna Collins, UK