Around 600 naked people braved the cold late last week to promote Greenpeace’s message about the impacts of climate change on the Aletsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps.

The nude volunteers posed for renowned naked installation artist Spencer Tunick, who is collaborating with the environmental organisation.

Greenpeace approached Spencer Tunick about the the idea of juxtaposing the image of nude bodies against the ‘melting glacier,’ Yves Zenger, a spokesperson for Greenpeace International, told edie.

“Is there a better symbol for vulnerability than human nakedness? Recognising the vulnerability of people – especially in as much as we are part of nature – is also a major concern of environmental protection.

“It is about time that we admit how exposed we actually are both in terms of biodiversity and as a component of global ecological systems.”

American artist Spencer Tunick is best known for his photography of nudes around the world – from New York and Montreal to Amsterdam and Mexico City where 18,000 people posed nude in the city’s central square.

Tunick’s living sculpture on the Aletsch Glacier was created as a symbolic link between people and glaciers, which Greenpeace says are rapidly retreating as a result of climate change.

“I always feel that the body is a constant medium, and creates a new dialogue for the background,” Spencer Tunick told edie.

“In this case, the vulnerability of the body coincided with the vulnerability of the glacier. The glacier looks strong, but it’s not…it’s just as vulnerable.”

The Aletsch Glacier provided the perfect backdrop to send a message about climate change, says Greenpeace.

Their research shows that if global warming continues at its current rate, most glaciers in Switzerland will completely disappear by 2080.

“The human body is as vulnerable as the melting glacier,” said Markus Allemann, campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Switzerland.

“These naked people [braved] the cold because they want decision-makers to wake up and take immediate, forceful, and courageous steps to protect the climate. There is still time, but it is running out.”

Dana Gornitzki

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