Water pollution is a huge concern for many Americans. Growing up outside New York City, I was always afforded safe drinking water, but I know that’s not the baseline everywhere. At school in North Carolina, I’m situated in the Cape Fear River Basin, a water supply network that stretches from the middle of North Carolina all the way to the east coast by Wilmington. I’ve never paid much attention to my water supply until I watched a short film by Vox titled, “How Forever Chemicals Polluted America’s Water.” It focused specifically on the Cape Fear River Basin and the various plastic companies that are polluting the very water I drink from my tap, and it honestly scared the crap out of me. Why hadn’t I known about this before? Why were plastic companies allowed to pollute and destroy with virtually no repercussions?
Asking these questions planted a seed in my head. More people needed to know about this. More people needed to see this mini documentary. So I came up with a mock movie premiere for the film, and retitled it “The Plastic We Sip.” I developed a poster, sticker, pin and bracelet that all fell under this theme that unnatural plastic pollutants were seeping their way into our bloodstreams and slowly killing us. Morbid? Yes, but absolutely true.
I wanted this theme to have a gritty and dark feel, representative of the polluted tap water that comes out of our faucets. The blue represents the water that we perceive as healthy and clean, but it quickly fades to an unnatural pink color that’s representative of the plastic chemicals we’re actually consuming. The veins are also meant to resemble natural waterways that are getting polluted by these big companies. And lastly, the chalk outline of the body resembles – you guessed it – the chalk outline of a dead body on pavement, as a way of saying, we’ll be dead before we know it if this kind of carelessness with our water keeps happening.
In creating a mock movie premiere, I wanted to garner the attention of regular people who drink this toxic tap water every day and help them understand the impact these plastic companies have on physical well-being. It’s time more people pay attention to these issues, because if we don’t, we’ll have no choice but to succumb to the harsh effects of these chemicals in our bodies. Unfortunately, it seems that we already have.
Watch the original film that inspired this body of work here.
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