The blank-eyed figure in the video below looks innocuous enough. Yet as he blithely dances through half a million years of planetary destruction, he morphs from whimsical to something utterly terrifying.
The video, “Man,” is the brainchild of London-based artist Steve Cutts. In three and a half minutes, it excoriates humanity’s contamination of virtually every element of the natural world, from hormone-pumped chicken and polluted seas to e-waste and snakeskin boots.
Set to the increasingly ominous score of composer Edvard Grieg’s classical piece “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” the video packs an emotional punch that no amount of climate or pollution data can match.
“It’s my general view of what mankind has done for the earth,” Cutts said.
Cutts, 33, is a UK illustrator who began working in animation three years ago after moving to London. He posted the video in December. Since then, it has been viewed some 5 million times on different social media sites around the world.
Despite the grim subject matter, response to the video has been overwhelmingly positive, Cutts said.
“Absolutely stunning,” wrote one viewer on the US video-sharing site Vimeo. “Are we really this destructive? We simply must change our ways.”
chinadialogue is pleased to introduce the video to a Chinese audience. For those who don’t read English, the character’s shirt says “Welcome,” and the introductory caption reads “500,000 years ago.” Apart from that, its message needs no translation.