During COP21 in Paris, December 2015, politicians thrashed through proposals to stop the Earth’s temperatures from heating more than two degrees, a rise already considered unsafe by many leading scientists. Due to the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people, protests were banned by French authorities during the talks. The streets were largely deserted.

Visions of hope during these desperate days came from an unlikely source - a group of Australian activists, self-appointed Climate Guardians dressed in white with enormous wings. They tended the hundreds of shoes French people had left in the streets in a passionate plea for action. The resulting images made the front pages of international newspapers including Le Monde, The Times (London) and The New York Times.

Some of the most urgent and important artwork happening in the world today is springing up through activism. The fact that Australian artists are behind the Climate Guardians is significant as globally Australia is recognised for its failure to act on carbon emissions, our economy so reliant on fossil fuels.

Climate Guardians on tour in 2016
Following COP21, where government pledges inspired hope, now is an important opportunity for the Climate Guardians to keep the Paris message alive and hold the world to account. Climate Guardians will make appearances and perform actions, encouraging crowds to recreate shoe installations to show their solidarity, draw attention to local issues, lead workshops and train more guardians to continue spreading a message of hope and climate action.

In order to respond to the urgent need for change we need to act quickly.


Convenors Liz Conor & Deborah Hart
A Performing Lines tour


Pippa Bailey | Senior Producer
[email protected] | +61 (0)2 9319 0066


In Paris, the Australian Angels have captivated the world’s attention with their grace, their calm, their feathers and their placards: Coal Kills. Climate Justice.
— The Drum, ABC TV