Young Suffragettes- Glacier Girl a new kind of eco-activist

Photography by Joanna Kiely, Styling by Jilian Banjoko

Somehow, the grievous effects of mass-consumption on climate change have captivated 19 year old Elizabeth Farrell who, under the pseudonym "Glacier Girl" has taken to online platforms to generate awareness about these issues. Of Monsanto, the US agricultural giant she says "They’re psychotic and massively power hungry." Dubbed as the mafia of the food industry, their portfolio includes bankrupting farmers, capitalising on impotent crop and manufacturing biological warfare. Their weapon: an expert ability to genetically modify natural organisms. Farrell is infuriated by the manipulation of nature for means of capital gain, especially when its consequences are both environmental and social. 

For Farrell, the realisation that the way she was living her life was “wrong” came, as she puts it, “quite late” at the age of about 17. Studying world development in her geography GCSE, she was urged to read the acclaimed Eric Schlosser book “Fast Food Nation” which unravels the social and environmental damage caused by the American food industry. Outraged by the stark effects that casual modern living had on the environment she began "to draw links between mass consumption and the destruction of the planet" and started channelling this into a school art project.

Teen-dream scenes of a delicate tone, juxtaposed with heavy symbols of climate change and consumption are loaded on her Instagram @glacier996girl. With a following nearing 3000 Farrell hopes to encourage people to “live alongside the earth, not against it.” Using emblems of popular corporations to criticise consumerism, but also to connect with her audience, who know the brands well. She recently created and photographed a millennial adaptation of the famous Adam and Eve scene: the pair stand in front of the "tree of knowledge" having plucked from it an Apple iPhone. Encapsulating of the incompatibility of modern living with a perfectly undamaged environment, Farrell creates a delicate balance between activism and aestheticism.

As well as transferring her internal rage against consumerism and passion for protecting the environment into activism, she is also about to begin a Geography and Environmental studies degree. Farrell is hoping to become a glaciologist, “but I don’t know what the actual job’s like and whether there’ll be any glaciers left.”

So what's in store for the future? Not the apocalypse, I’m reassured. Just “massive wars, a climate that is inhabitable for humans and a lot of animals” and something that is akin to the ice age. So how is she going to survive all this? “I wouldn’t want to survive. I’m not that brave.”

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