Wildfire>_ in Vienna
Wildfire>_ ran an active program at the nuclear weapons conferences in Vienna in December 2014: the ICAN Civil Society Forum (6-7 Dec) and the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (8-9 Dec). For those who couldn't be there, here are some photos and copies of the display materials, as well as a link to the now (in)famous Wildfire>_ plenary statement at the government conference.
The Weasel Lounge
The Wildfire>_ Weasel Lounge was conceived as a place for delegates to relax, unwind, and wonder at the conflicted policies and general hypocrisy of the nuclear weasel states. Featuring a 2m-tall cardboard weasel, with integrated LED lighting, the Weasel Lounge displayed graphic illustrations of the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, alongside quotations from weasel governments highlighting their weaselly policies.
The Weasel Lounge was first installed at the Civil Society Forum.
Here it was used as the location for an interactive game: the Wildfire>_ Weasel Challenge. To win the Weasel Challenge, you must stand on a box representing the nuclear deterrent upon which weasels supposedly depend for the security. To represent the weasel approach to nuclear disarmament, you must then remove the box while you are still standing on it.
While there were some imaginative attempts, it is soon obvious that it cannot be done.
On 9 December, the Weasel Lounge was set up in the Hofburg Palace for the second day of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.
It seemed to be much appreciated by government delegates eager to learn about weasel duplicity and obstruction. You can see the posters in detail below:
The Weasel Lounge was accompanied by two brochures:
The weasel sculpture was designed and built by the ingenious people at Papertown in Vienna.
At the Civil Society Forum, Wildfire>_'s Chief Inflammatory Officer Richard Lennane participated in the final panel discussion of the event, "Banning nuclear weapons", which was chaired by Richard Moyes of Article 36 and also featured Ray Acheson of Reaching Critical Will and Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
Then during the general debate at the government conference, Richard Lennane delivered a fiery statement. You can read the text, but it's much more fun to watch the video:
We love the Chair's reaction: "Wildfire indeed!".
Finally, we thought we should reinforce the call to action of our plenary statement with a pointed visual message. So at the close of the conference, Wildfire>_ agents hung a banner over the grand staircase leading to the main exit:
Straight to the point: talking is not enough. States without nuclear weapons need to move ahead and start negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons.