See you on the Street, a Digital Climate Parade, is a platform that celebrates the phenomena of taking to the streets to demand climate justice by combining digital and physical activism. The webspace takes visual content of recent instances of climate protests from Instagram and compiles them into one ‘digital demonstration’.

Project: A Climate Protest Lab for a Data-Driven Futures
Coach: Carlo de Gaetano
Robert Carr (Linkedin)
Orestis Ioannidis (Linkedin)
Manlio Massimetti (Linkedin)



This website marks the culmination of several months of research into the rise of climate activism. At the start of September 2019, our team was tasked with creating an open and accessible data set that tells the story of young climate movements. Mainly through social media scraping, we’ve managed to collect a plethora of data that illustrates the climate activism phenomena made popular by charismatic individuals like Greta Thunberg and disruptive movements like Extinction Rebellion. The project presented on this website is just one cog in the machine of a larger, more long-term project, spearheaded by the Digital Society School (Hva) and in collaboration with the Visual Methodologies Collective (HvA), and Re-Set (HvA) in the city of Amsterdam. This larger project investigates the climate change debate through a facet of different stakeholders, like policy makers, climate experts, and now growing climate movements. All together, the project aims to provide a holistic view on the current state of climate change communication.

Our contribution

Over the past few months, we’ve studied climate movements from a variety of angles, starting with creating a dataset of the most prominent current movements. The data set contained the following features for each movement: date of establishment, purpose statement, verbs used within purpose statement, target audience, target “action against” (who/what the movements are opposing), geographic location, and social media followings. From there, we zoomed into one movement, namely Extinction Rebellion, to learn about their methods of communication and develop a framework for studying other movements. After this, we decided to re-expand our focus to four movements for the final product. Once we had our final subjects, the next task was to think about how we wanted to present the data we collected. When combing over our data, we noticed a majority of the images showed people, out on the streets, demonstrating for the climate. Because this was a common trend across the four movements, we came up with the idea of a digital climate parade. This concept would combine protest imagery from communication channels of each of the movements into one digital space. The parade is not only a collection of images, but also a celebration for the growing number of people taking to the streets.

The platform

This platform is based off a dataset that contains images from climate demonstrations between the years 2015 and 2019. Images from four main climate movements are present (Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, Sunrise Movement, and Zero Hour) as well as from individuals who used the official hashtags of the movements within their post. The platform is a visualization of the dataset where users can filter and sort images by movement, date, level of engagement, hashtag(s) used, and more. The intention with the filters and sorters is to enable the exploration of the recent months of climate activism through photos by giving individuals freedom in how to arrange them and subsequently derive meaning. The filters and sorters are instruments we provide that can be combined in many different ways to create alternate storylines from the same base data. Furthermore, users are able to click on individual photos to bring up a pop-up box with more details about the given photo and post it originates from. We call our platform See you on the Streets, a Digital Climate Parade. We want to celebrate the growth of climate movements and show the world that climate activism is not just a series of isolated incidents.

People are coming together from all ends of the globe in support of the same goal: changing human behaviour to improve the conditions and the health of our one and only planet. These coming-togethers of unprecedented magnitude should not go uncelebrated. It is with this in mind that we present our platform as a space to exhibit, understand, and analyze the rise of climate movements and the accompanying activism through online visual content.

The dataset

See you on the Streets, a Digital Climate Parade was created using one large data set. Our research team spent the past two months collecting and preparing this data for presentation. This data set can be accessed at the following links: syots_data.json, syots_data.csv. The data set contains all Instagram posts from the four official movement accounts. The following columns are included: Movement name, hashtags present, post url, image url, image itself, people (present or not), timestamp, date, comments, likes, engagement rate, and caption. The engagement rate was calculated as (likes + comments) / followers. The images range from August 2015 to November 2019. The second part of the dataset concerns unofficial communication; it has all the images with over 100 likes that contain at least one of the hashtags from the official movement campaigns. While the first sheet has just four different authors, the second sheet has an unlimited amount. The same columns as above are also present for this sheet, however engagement is calculated in absolute terms (likes + comments) rather than a rate. This is done because many of the posts are from private accounts where follower count is not available. The images for the second sheet have a narrower date range, from October to November, 2019.

User scenario

Our platform is designed to be used by researchers and climate enthusiasts who are interested in exploring recent months of environmental demonstration. The multiple filters and sorting mechanisms are tools we provide intended to give users the power to arrange the data in ways that suit their individual needs. The ability to combine filters gives users the freedom to create different stories from the data. Researchers could compare and contrast the visual communication of different movements, or see how image content is related to engagement metrics. Additionally, the platform enables users to study how official channels of communication differ from individual accounts, or how different hashtag campaigns influence the imagery produced. The dimension of time is an important metric we’ve also provided to allow users another layer of analysis to have at their disposal. Essentially, we want to provide different ‘lenses’ for researchers, climate enthusiasts, students and others to use when studying the visual communication of climate movements.

Desired impact

  • Bridge gap between rising digital and physical activism
  • Spread knowledge and awareness of climate movements
  • Provide individuals with data and tools to explore and analyze growing climate activism
  • Develop a sense of unification between climate movements and affiliated individuals
  • Improve general perceptions of activists, we want to show people that anyone can take to the streets and fight for climate change and other social issues. We want to break stereotypes about what it means to be a protester.