Lucinda Rogers’ reportage drawings captured the urgent activism and human drama that surrounded Cop26, the 2021 Glasgow climate summit. By John L. Walters. Portrait by Jillian Edelstein [EXTRACT]
Late last year, Lucinda Rogers went to Glasgow in Scotland for Cop26*, the international climate change conference and drew all day, every day, for two weeks. From her first impressions of Glasgow railway station, with its bustling passengers and big clock dominated by Cop26 banners, to her elegiac drawings as the whole circus closed down, she captured the mood of a city caught up in the urgency of a global debate.
Though she did not have a pass to go inside the main conference buildings, this was no deterrent to making a vivid record of what Rogers perceived to be a giant but ‘essentially abstract’ event. By acting on her journalistic instincts for a story, following leads from locals, insiders and activists, she set up to draw around the periphery, assembling memorable and pointed images, many of which are featured in Around the edge of COP26, published soon after her return. This slim, saddle-stitched volume summarises her views of the event and the climate emergency in pictures and words; the inside back cover contains an ‘Information and action’ list of resources and campaigning groups that she urges readers to follow up.
Rogers’ drawings were also part of the coverage given to Cop26 by the UK newspaper Financial Times (FT). Kevin Wilson, the paper’s head of design, commissioned Rogers to send drawings from the Scottish city, and her humane, critical appraisals became a vital element of the FT’s online and printed reports.
The pictures show the many characters – delegates, protesters, representatives of indigenous peoples in Ecuador and Indonesia, service workers, security staff, police, passers-by – caught up in the pageant of Cop26 …
This drawing of a man with a plywood sign saying ‘It’s Capitalism Ya Eejits’ appeared on the Financial Times’s op-ed page. Top. Portrait of Lucinda Rogers by Jillian Edelstein.
John L. Walters, editor of Eye, London
Read the full version in Eye no. 103 vol. 26, 2022
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