Greta Thunberg in the star: Is that real? The story behind the oil cover photo with the climate protection icon

Climate protests are youth protests.

Greta Thunberg in the star: Is that real? The story behind the oil cover photo with the climate protection icon

Climate protests are youth protests. And of course there is also a massive generational conflict behind the climate protests, namely the angry accusation that the older people are robbing the younger ones of their future with their way of life. Nobody embodies climate protection like Greta Thunberg. The now 19-year-old icon of the movement also triggered a small generational conflict in the stern editorial team this week when it came to how we put her on our cover: just as you would expect her, i.e. angry, with an oil-smeared face , as a kind of outcry against the insufficient fight against the climate catastrophe, especially in times of permanent crises? Or laughing happily, full of confidence, yes, happy, as she had acted during the long and very personal conversation with our colleague Jonas Breng, despite all the worries about our world?

A heated discussion broke out over these two cover motifs. All the boys were vehemently in favor of the oil photo because we should treat them as serious political activists; They categorically rejected the softer cover picture because it shows Greta like a little girl from the family album – and we would thereby infantilize her and her concerns. The older ones were almost all against the oil-smeared Greta, found it repulsive, zombie-like – and she wasn't easy to recognize either. The photo of a happy Greta is much more surprising.

After much discussion, we decided on the oil motif because it is the stronger cover photo. An eye-catcher. The response is great. There are now many inquiries about this photo. No, it's not a montage. No, it's not real crude oil either. Photographer Marcus Ohlsson, a portrait and fashion photographer from Stockholm, had the idea of ​​staging Greta as a kind of human oil spill. And surprising for everyone – Greta went into it. What drips from her head, runs down her nose and cheeks onto her shoulders is a mixture of (non-toxic) finger paint and olive oil.

This photo series was first printed in the weekend supplement "Saturday" of the English newspaper "The Guardian". Greta said after the photo op: "I had a ribbon in my hair to not dye my hair black, but then the liquid soaked through the ribbon so my hair was completely black. It was very difficult to get it all off. "

In the end, it took Greta almost a full day to clean up her personal oil spill.

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