ALL WOMEN’S VOYAGE TO MAKE THE UNSEEN SEEN, FROM THE TOXICS IN OUR BODIES TO THE PLASTICS IN OUR SEAS
WHAT IS EXXPEDITION?
eXXpedition is a series of all women voyages to make the unseen seen, from the toxics in our bodies to the plastics in our seas. On the 16th of November 2014 eXXpedition launched the first mission with a crew of 14 women setting sail across the Atlantic Ocean in search of answers relating to the health of our environment and to the health of our bodies.
During an eXXpedition voyage environmental samples are collected to assess plastic and pollutants, feeding in these samples to wider studies investigating the impacts of toxics and plastics pollutants and linking this sampling to narratives of ecosystem health, personal health and the products we consume.
The eXXpedition crew also participate in biomonitoring with the UN founded initiative ‘Safe Planet‘ to assess personal exposure to known toxic substances. Through personal exploration of our internal environment(MeSearch) the aim is to better understand the levels of toxic exposure in women.
Through a shared mission to understand this invisible pollution the hope is to create a conversation which sheds light on the science of ecotoxicology and inspire positive actions to tackle the root causes.
Our vision is clean oceans and happy humans in a world where women are treated equally and have fair access to resources.
Our mission is to explore the issue of plastics, chemicals, endocrine disruptors and carcinogens in our personal and global environment that can cause disease. Our aim is to engage women in scientific narratives relating to the consumer choices they make, and their long-term health impacts on themselves and our environment.
Scientists estimate that everyone alive today carries within her or his body at least 700 contaminants, most of which have not been well studied. Wherever you live in the world you have been exposed to a cocktail of chemicals.
We will explore our own bodies for the presence of toxics. The first step to understanding a problem is work out how big it is, to measure it, to be scientists! We will measure our blood and urine samples for the presence of pthalates, heavy metals, PCBs, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
We will also explore our genetic likelihood for disease using DNA fingerprinting tools to assess our relative genetic risks. We believe that knowledge is power and that by exploring nature vs nurture in our relative risks of disease, we can take charge of our future and be inspired to make choices that have a positive impact on the health of our bodies and the seas.
Through our personal and collective journeys we hope to inspire followers to understand the relationship between our bodies, the products we consume and the world we inhabit.
MAKING THE UNSEEN SEEN…
Thousands of toxic chemicals, many of which pollute ocean ecosystems and contaminate marine products, potentially cause human diseases.
The main industrial chemicals of concern include bis-phenol A, triclosan, perfluorochemicals, phthalates, pharmaceutical residues, hydrocarbons and metals, including mercury and arsenic.
Chemicals enter marine ecosystems through many routes and can be deliberately introduced into estuaries, coastal and open seas through littering and unconscious disposal.
WHY THIS? WHY NOW?
eXXpedition has created a unique platform combining adventure and science while doing activities that women aren’t renowned (or recognised) for.
eXXpedition is using the latest tools in citizen science from ipads and geolocation technologies to participating in crowdsourced global experiments.
eXXpedition tackles a little talked about topic in a completely new/different way and hopes to create conversations that enable the general public to participate and use the gained knowledge to make informed consumer choices.
eXXpedition knows that successful innovation rarely comes from within an industry – it takes outsiders tackling problems in fresh ways with a mix of disciplines to create solutions. The immersiveness of the experience created on our voyages, taking women to an extreme environment, shifts their horizon and creates a powerful and empowering bonding experience.
MAIN AIMS AND ACTIVITIES
- To connect people with the ocean (and the issues of plastics and toxics)
- To give scientists, journalists, artists, filmmakers, educators, designers an opportunity to collect data, footage and findings and bring change to our global society.
- Continue to add to the growing data set of plastics and toxics in our ocean.
- To celebrate the role of women in science, technology and sailing. Break down stereotypes, and also harness the power within them.
- Informing consumers about everyday choices.
- Support global action on toxic chemicals and influence governments to take regulatory action for a cleaner environment.
To achieve our objectives we bring together groups of innovative, ground breaking women and set forth together on voyages or what we call eXXpeditions.
Through conversations aboard the vessel Sea Dragon, scientific research and artistic practice undertaken by the women on the eXXpedition, and subsequent discussion groups aimed at young women in the UK, we create material capable of engaging and inspiring wide audiences.
Each woman brings a new dimension to the project theme, enabling diverse interactions and new strands of development.
We run creative, participatory workshops and talks (led by various team members) at the start and finish of each voyage, creative workshops on board with the team members, exhibitions in Brighton in collaboration with ONCA Trust, which include material created and collected throughout the trip, workshops and talks within the exhibition.