Skills and strategies of activist mermaids: from pretty to powerful pictures

Sara Malou Strandvad*, Tracy C. Davis, Megan Dunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the most noteworthy characteristics of the mermaiding community, which has arisen since the early 2000s when self-styled performers started to impersonate the mermaid myth, consists in the performers positioning of themselves as ocean conservation advocates. Pictures constitute a main resource for this advocacy. But how can pretty pictures become powerful tools drawing attention to the critical state of the climate? What does it take to make and script such pictures? Which skills are necessary? Based on interviews with mermaids and underwater photographers, we explore how pictures become a way of spurring activism and care for the oceans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-282
Number of pages21
JournalText and Performance Quarterly
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Activism
  • conservation
  • mermaids
  • scripting
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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