Nature Performance Art / Ghana / 2018

Too difficult to believe these kind of jingoistic patriotism and strong religion of some fisher folks and others around the world which the artist name Virgin breakers. I see it as lack of knowledge! If you ask the owners of these canoes the reason for painting or branding their canoe with symbols such as Bible and national flag, quickly they will tell you because they love their country or have a strong faith in religion or the creator of the world. Yes they sing patriotic and religious songs as they go to sea for fishing and in public places but their attitude towards nature, environment and the sea which feeds them raise a big question.

Are they really patriotic or religious?
They believe their country is the best and love to own her at heart – This is widely seen during world tournament, yet they go ahead to heavily pollute the waters and sea with plastic debris and chemicals.
This kind of jingoistic patriotism makes no sense.
“Cleanliness is next to godliness” is a cliché or quote inscribed on some of the canoes, boats, houses, waist band, stores, Temples, T shirt and other owned materials of people. “Holy Bible” “Holy Quran” “Zoroaster” “Law of Manu” “Dhammapada” “Ginza Rba” etc. as the name and verses in these Religious books connotes, purity and cleanliness yet these folks go ahead to pollute their environment and the sea with plastic debris. We should understand what we believe – protect the environment and our waters from  plastic debris. Don’t be a breaker of nature’s purity(virginity)….

Amazingly, universe in itself causes no lasting pollution. The earth with its many ecological cycles is a self-cleaning mechanism, and it is designed for clean and healthy living. Such clean work could come only from a clean-minded creator by which all religion claims to worship. We can deduce from this, therefore, that worshipers of the creator should be clean in all aspects of their life.

We generally consider cleanliness to be a pleasing attribute in our various societies and religion. From Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastiansm, Zarathustra, Sabeanism, Rabi, Baha’I Faith, Pagan, Africa Tradition and more are all required to take care of their personal hygiene by assuring that they are well groomed, and that their bodies, clothing, and surroundings are clean from waste and dirt which includes plastic debris (artist most concerned).
Faith in religion, oneself and country cannot be completed in the absence of cleanliness and purity. Much is said rhetorically about cleanliness in our society but practically its application is missing. A quick observation nowadays reveals how insensitive a way of life we have developed on cleanliness and hygiene.
Throwing plastic garbage in the streets, roads or parks has become a common practice in our society. In public places dustbins are episodically found. Even if dustbins are installed, people do not use them properly. Rather, they prefer to throw garbage outside the street, parks and even drainages. It is also observed that people clean their homes and shops and throw the garbage on the street without considering its implications. It is evident that even the elite in the society also throw garbage on the ground even in the presence of garbage bins. This shows our attitude towards cleanliness in the environment. If we don’t care about our immediate environment and live, how can we care about the lives in the Sea?
Act on what you believe by joining hands with the artist and the Universal Sea pure or plastic to fight against pollution of the sea by plastic debris.

Kojo Biney
Virgin Breaker Art project