HAMBURG, GERMANY — In a scene straight out of a “Walking Dead” nightmare, Hamburg’s streets teemed with “zombies” in a statement over political participation ahead of Friday’s G20 summit.
A performance piece orchestrated by the 1,000 Gestalten (1,000 figures) collective saw 1,000 actors descend upon the city’s center on Wednesday, shuffling and clawing through the streets in eerie silence before a single demonstrator shed his zombie facade to reveal colorful clothes beneath.
The group’s orchestrators said the production was designed to emphasize that change can come from single individuals.
“We cannot wait until change happens from the world’s most powerful, we have to show political and social responsibility — all of us — now!” a 1,000 Gestalten spokesman said in a statement.
“Our campaign is a further symbol for the fact that many people do not want to put up with the destructive impact of capitalism any longer,” the statement continued. “What will save us in the end is not our account balance but someone who will offer their holding hand.”
Earlier in the week, smaller pockets of the undead had popped up around the city caked in dusty gray clay, with more emerging as the summit draws closer.
Organizers expect tens of thousands of people to descend on Hamburg to take part in demonstrations throughout the two-day summit.
But Hamburg will likely also be the scene of confrontation between leaders of the world’s biggest economies, some of whom have clashed over a number of issues — such as climate change, free trade and an unrestricted press — slated for discussion.