You have to hand it to The Yes Men. This week I read on the Arts and Ecology blog a mention of their latest stunt: bottling the toxic water from the Bhopal disaster site and trying to serve it to the executives at Dow Chemical.
The unique qualities of our water come from 25 years of slow-leaching toxins at the site of the world’s largest industrial accident.
To this day, Dow Chemical — who bought Union Carbide — has refused to clean up and whole new generations are being poisoned.
The original post from The Yes Men themselves reveals some background on the issue as well as the details of how, working with The Bhopal Medical Appeal, they created the design for the water’s label. Though they claim their attempt to serve the water scared the Dow execs away, it is not clear why the Dow headquarters was empty when they arrived.
Nevertheless, these folks continue to show that they have the skills and the stones to offer up some of the most entertaining and engaging ethically-framed advocacy and critical rhetoric going.
Readers not familiar with The Yes Men as such may know some of their culture jamming work:
- Creating the spoof WTO web site that got them invited to speak as representatives of the WTO
- Impersonating a Dow Chemical spokesperson on major media outlets to announce full compensation for the Bhopal disaster (this caused Dow stock prices to drop steeply)
- Helping produce the faux New York Times that hit the streets last November