Ecocide is a Crime: Why I am an artist against ecocide


Some of my posts since 2008 below, refer to ecocide (the destruction of ecosystems, the living, natural world by man), or reference corresponding developments for Rights of Nature.


I identify as an ‘artist against ecocide’. I have framed my eco-social art practice The Hollywood Forest Story, that explores new-to-Ireland Close-to-Nature continuous cover forestry within in the small forest Irish South East forest I live in, as an important means to move away from the ecocide of industrial monoculture forestry.

In 2013, I successfully presented and argued a motion that the Green Party of Ireland and Northern Ireland support developing legal measures to recgnise ecocide as a crime. My work is summarized in my illustrated ebook, which can be downloaded here

My key posts on ecocide, that became more polished essays are: Eradicating ecocide to make sustainability legal (2013), An Absence of Thinking; Hannah Arendt and the Totalitarianism of Ecocide (2013), The Anthropocene: 10 000 Years of Ecocide (2012), these can be read below here

My doctoral thesis The Ecological Turn: Living Well with Forests.. (Fitzgerald, 2018) explains how embedded, lonterm eco-social art practices (ecological art practice) regularly promote ecoliteracy and agency for arts practitioners and their audiences to learn about harms to environments and motivate them to change. Of course, the closer one is to ecocide, the more propelled one feels to standing up and say ‘no more’ – well, that is what I found!

Pages from my ebook The Hollywood Forest Story
Pages from my ebook The Hollywood Forest Storysubmitted for my Creative Practice-led PhD, The Ecological Turn (Fitzgerald, 2018) that explained the social power and validity of durational eco-social art practices, like mine to advance policy change.
Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 09.14.48
While ecosystem destruction has been occurring for millennia, it was unsettling to find the term ‘ecocide’ is exactly the same age as me. Ecocide is the recognised legal term and war crime since the destruction of Vietnam’s forests and food ecosystems in the Vietnam war, de t the widespread use of toxic chemical agents such as Agent Orange. Sadly my late father was a Vietnam veteran fatally affected by a cancer associated with Agent Orange. So what I thought of previously as a strong adjective to highlight the violence toward our environments, ecocide now always reminds me how violence to forests is personal and political. Inspired by the environmental lawyer, late Polly Higgins, I stood up for my family, for Hollywood forest and forests everywhere. I now know my long ecoart forest work promoted soliphilia in me…

Soliphilia – a new term by philosopher Glenn Albrecht – is explained in the following quote by writer Dr Sharon Blackie (2012):

‘If you are devoted to a place, and know yourself to be a part of its ecosystem, then you are more likely to protect it–and fight for it, if necessary.

Listen to my 2013 talk to propose ‘Ecocide is a Crime’ at the Green Party of Ireland and Northern Ireland, 13 April below:

Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 09.14.32

Eradicating ecocide to make sustainability legal (2013)

The article that I wrote before presenting my motion, unanimously supported, to recognise a law against the crime of ecocide, at the 2013 Irish Green Party Convention.

An Absence of Thinking; Hannah Arendt and the Totalitarianism of Ecocide (2013)

The Anthropocene: 10 000 Years of Ecocide (2012)

(Book Review) American Nature Film: Representations of Dominion and Imperialism.

The late Polly Higgins established a trust fund for ‘Earth protectors’. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

I am indebted to the visionary work for life and peace of Earth-lawyer, the late Polly Higgins, for inspiring my efforts to raise awareness about framing ecocide as a crime, against peace and all our futures.

Please take a few minutes add your name to the global petition she established to support legal teams around the world who are working to have ecocide internationally recognised as the missing international crime against peace here

We must all take a stand against ecocide!

Please note: Polly Higgins work just before her death was for all Earth Protectors, giving activists legal protection as conscientious objectors for the Earth, and is incorporated to safeguard Extinction Rebellion and other Earth activists facing arrest.

See the Stop ECOCIDE website here

One thought on “Ecocide is a Crime: Why I am an artist against ecocide

Comments are closed.