Dec. 1, 2019

Charlotte Watson | The Black Finch Project - the Bird of the Year, and the mega-coal mine.

Charlotte Watson | The Black Finch Project - the Bird of the Year, and the mega-coal mine.

The Black Finch Project, or #1000finches, swept through the Australian art and environmental world in mid 2019. People of all walks of life were creating art featuring this endangered finch, usually dead, and posting them to politicians and community figures across Australia. That same bird is now Australia's Bird of the Year, while it's habitat is being destroyed to clear the way for the development of the Galilee Basin as the world's newest and largest coal exporter. How can art help us engage and cope with this tension? The grief of extinction?


Thank you for listening to Art Breaker. We're the newest show from the Climactic Collective, a podcast network by and for the Australasian climate community. If you liked the program, please tell a friend, and leave a rating and review in your podcast app or Apple Podcasts if so moved.

Thanks to Charlotte Watson for her time and generousity. Since that tumultuous time in mid 2019, her life has somewhat returned to normal, and she's moving to a plant-based diet.

Chris Turnbull is still campaigning against Adani, and raising his son. If you wanted advice on how to run a bird of the year campaign, he'd be a good man to ask.

Margaret Ingles is still prolifically working on the intersection of the climate emergency and our understanding, and her work has moved your host to tears on multiple occasions.

Our thanks to Miles Martignoni and Laura Murphy-Oates from the Guardian, and Sean Dooley from Bird Life Australia for the use of a section of the Full Story podcast from the Guardian Australia.

Thank you for listening, and if you know of an artist or a project, in any artistic medium, engaging with the climate emergency that's a good story waiting to be told, please get in touch at

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