Final Ignition for Tibet: Peruffo calling urban climbers around the world

Posted: Jun 18, 2008 04:15 pm EDT

( Berlin, Paris, New York, Rome - Italian artist/climber Alberto Peruffo wants red flares lit in all these cities and he even has some of the buildings set.

The simple civil action will result in a monumental work of art and you are invited: lit a red flare on a high terrace or roof of any skyscraper, ancient architectural structure or tall building anywhere in the world. Send the pic to Alberto.

The title of the resulting poster will be "Lit Your Own Flame" and the manifest, along with other art forms planned for the event, will be an alternative to the Chinese Olympic torch, with the red smoke around the world aimed to show global support for human rights and Tibet.

A mega event

The project has grown into a mega event. On May 11 - in the first ignition phase - more than 100 summits were involved including red flare climbers making a difficult ascent on Matterhorn.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Olympic flame visited Everest in spite of protests from the Tibetan community. To rub it in; the torch will now return to Tibet for a second time - likely to pass through Lhasa this weekend.

The route is secret and exile-Tibetans (the only able to speak out) are outraged. "In addition to tanks and troops in Lhasa, Chinese authorities are now shrouding the Tibet torch relay in secrecy," said a spokesman for Students for a Free Tibet. "It just proves China's insecurity about its invasion of Tibet," he added.

Rise against

The Olympic torch has become an embarrassment to China and the Olympic committee. Regular people such as Alberto make sure that the world's disapproval is visible.

The website is now updated in 5 languages, and here's the final list of some of the projects Alberto wants realized in the second, final stage.

Find the English version here, and add yourself to the list of members. Various associations such as and similar organizations in other countries have already assured hundreds of new additions.

Final Ignition: August 8th, 2008

Final Ignition is set for the official Olympics inauguration day, August 8th, 2008, regardless of weather. At 1 pm local time, synchronized (as far as possible) flares will smoke from mountains tops, hills, in cities, on and around monuments.

In the final stage of the action mountains will meet cities. "Urban climbers, city mountaineers - your moment has come! " Alberto calls on the project website. The Italian climbing artist states that the connection between mountains and skyscrapers glowing side by side is meant to show "a unity between man and environment, between man and the other self, between man and those similar to him."

Images of city monuments have been animated with red smoke on the project website, the color to manifest "shame, sadness and outrage felt towards the violation of human rights."

Explains Alberto: "We shall make volcanoes and monuments of ancient architectures talk the language of smoke in the evanescent color of blood on the day on which the Olympic torch, a double-headed symbol of peace and hypocrisy, will light the Peking Olympics."

Alberto's manifest

Here goes the rest of Alberto's manifest:

"Exactly sixty years from the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the repression of Tibet during an event of world-wide interest has become the symbol of failure and betrayal on behalf of international governments: the principles then ratified have been and are still, more or less diplomatically, denied."

"My friends and I in unison with French activists will move near, on top of, beneath or at the sides of the Eiffel Tower, in the heart of the city where UNESCO has its general headquarters, in a city that more than any other has consigned culture and intelligence to the fundamental freedoms of man."

"Other cities throughout the world, mountains, hills, scenic areas, natural or urban sites are there, available, in their unchangeable locations, waiting. For You."

"Just like climbing mountains and hills, it doesnt take much: a red smoke signal, good will and should, by chance, elevators be missing or should there be no creative alternative whatsoever to climbing buildings from outside - a few floors of typical, simple stairs can be used to reach the uppermost terraces of skyscrapers and homes."

Will this civil action and work of art make our governments move? someone recently questioned. I dont know and it is not a problem. The only strong and real certainty I have, especially after the extraordinary first round of ignitions, is that our action will be useful, and how very useful it will be, to nurture those who resist, to make them feel less lonesome, surrounded by a net of humanity. This is not petty work. If we move, something else will move along with us. Consequences are not foreseeable but they do always remain consequences."

"To kick off the second phase of this work of art I have decided to 'ignite' a bell tower in my home town, a monument which itself has voice; the capacity of speaking the bells which often remain silent due to manipulation by power. From the heart of a small village in one of many Italian provinces a first alarm bell ringing so as to, once and for all, put into words what memory withholds."

"Pick a smoke signal and color the sky red!"

"I will be with you."

"Alberto Peruffo [Italy]"

Alberto calls for climbers around the world to unite in a series of ignitions of red smoke signals (such flares are available at most auto shops, outdoor, hardware, and marine stores) at 1 pm local time in cities and on mountains around the world on August 8th 2008, (the day when the Beijing Olympic games will be inaugurated). Flares should preferably be lit on hills, mountain tops or at significant city structures such as skyscrapers and similar.

You'll need a watch, and a digital camera or film camera to document your ignition/ascent. Alberto will put together yours and all the other pictures in his art project. The ignitions will be coordinated and subdivided according to geographical areas and local times.

Data collection and coverage of mountain- as well as city ignitions will be available on The site will coordinate local representatives (city as well as mountain groups) to be found on the final list.

Multiple flares can be lit on the same objectives or in the same locations, especially when cities are involved.

Pictures can also be sent to (repetitions or mountains not involved during the first ignition due to weather should be re-included in the final ignitions list).

Information and press office:

(Ed note: Alberto says that security officials will be officially informed about the action on the dates described. It's advisable however to speak to your local police department as well to let them know that your red flare is not a rescue signal.)

#Mountaineering #Polar #Mountaineering #Oceans

The Chinese Olympic flame visited Everest and returned to Tibet for a second time - passing tanks and troops through the locked down Lhasa. Alberto decided to "ignite" a bell tower in his home town, a small Italian village, to make "the bells sound with what memory withholds."
Screenshot from Youtube video of red flare climbers who made a difficult ascent on Matterhorn and lit the flame on May 11 (click to enlarge).

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