The Yes Men punk Canada in Copenhagen

Vancouver photographer Kris Krüg reports on the pointed pranks of activist duo the Yes Men.

Credit: Kris Krüg

Vancouver photographer Kris Krüg reports from COP15, documenting Canada’s role at the conference, including the pointed pranks of activist duo the Yes Men

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, has been a flurry of activity, in the Bella Center with the negotiations, in the Fresh Air Center with the media and NGOs, and in the streets with the marches and protests.

Each country brings to the table its own sets of concerns, contributions and baggage surrounding carbon emissions and climate control. Canada has been no exception, yet has been thrown into the not-so-positive spotlight by the culture-jamming activist duo the Yes Men.

andy bichlbaum of the Yes Men
Andy Bichlbaum, one half of the Yes Men.

Yes Men’s Copenhagen prank ‘shames Canada’

The Yes Men punked Canada by merely pointing out their basic regulations on climate control and where Canada stands in the COP15 proceedings. The Yes Men’s media stunt included a fake press release from Canada, a fake response from Uganda, a fake retraction from Canada and multiple fake news stories surrounding all of the fake media. They even created a fake website,, for their entire coverage.

Yes Men's SurvivaBall at Copenhagen Climate Conference

Survivaball: ‘Couture for climate calamity’

The Yes Men are well known for their SurvivaBall, a tongue-in-cheek inflatable suit designed for catastrophic situations in which basic survival is engaged. The SurvivaBall was seen in multiple marches at Copenhagen, serving as a reminder of what’s at stake should the delegation not reach an agreement.

andy bichlbaum of the Yes Men with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson

Vancouver mayor with Yes Men hours before prank

The Fresh Air Centre is large enough that chance meetings occur at the most random times. Andy Bichlbaum, one half of the Yes Men, met up with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson; unbeknownst to Gregor, this photo was taken just hours before Canada was to be punked.

Yes Men open for Gogol Bordello

Yes Men open for Gogol Bordello

The Yes Men also opened for fellow New Yorkers, the Brooklyn-based gypsy-inspired band Gogol Bordello, who performed a special show in Copenhagen for COP15. See a video clip of the show.

Jack Layton and Olivia Chow with the Yes Men

NDP’s Jack Layton and Olivia Chow support Canada at COP15

NDP MP Olivia Chow and NDP Party Leader Jack Layton were in Copenhagen at COP15 with support for Canada. After speaking at the Fresh Air Centre, Olivia and Jack put forth good nature while being photographed with the Yes Men.

Sometimes bad press is bad press and sometimes bad press is good press, but either way, the press took notice as the Yes Men pranked Canada at COP15. In a good way, Canada took notice as well.


Kris Krüg at COP15

Stay tuned for more on Canada in Copenhagen or check out Kris Krüg’s Flickr Photostream for daily photo updates!