How much do people care about the extinction of species? It turns out that a significant number of people care enough to become ‘permanent ambassadors’ of an endangered species.
In a unique activist, social work of art, The Ultimate Holding Company, a co-operative based in Manchester, England, has just completed a project entitled ext Inked. They created a set of drawings individually illustrating one hundred of the most endangered species in the British Isles. They then asked for for 100 volunteers each to have one of these drawings tattooed on their skin thereby becoming ‘permanent ambassadors’ of that species.
It turns out that the organizers received large numbers of applications from volunteers of which they could only select 100. Many of these applications contained heartfelt messages expressing a wish to get involved in a lifelong conservation campaign.
The selected volunteers were all tattooed in November this year – the bicentennial year of Charles Darwin’s birthday.
Not only was this a bold and highly ambitious undertaking but some may be surprised by the large number of volunteers who demonstrated a passion for conserving the biodiversity of their country. For many, the extinction of species and the inexorable destruction of biodiversity are abstract concepts of little relevance in their everyday lives. This successful experiment shows that there are many who care about this issue with a lifelong passion.
The Ultimate Holding Company describes itself as “a co-operative exploring the modern city through critical cross disciplinary art and design practice. We specialise in turning artist-led concepts into ethical design solutions, exclusively for organisations driven by their values not their profits.” They have undertaken a significant number of projects with many clients and partners.