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Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg rocks cover of TIME magazine's 27 May edition

Category: Gender in the world 

From being a regular schoolgirl a year and a half ago to being on the cover of TIME Magazine this week, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg has the world's attention. The story title reads "Now, I am speaking to the whole world." Thunberg's portrait for the cover was taken somewhere special: the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, where Thunberg's journey as an activist began. It was also right in the middle of a #FridaysForFuture school strike in April, according to TIME.


Greta became a prominent online figure when she started skipping school every Friday to protest climate inaction outside the Swedish Parliament. She would hold placards calling for people to see and act with urgency when it came to climate action. What started as a solitary exercise of resistance has now become a legitimate groundswell movement involving thousands of students across 112 countries.


Today, #FridaysForFuture is a seminal movement steered by teenagers not just in Sweden but around the world to hold governments and corporations responsible and act urgently towards drastically reducing carbon emissions.

For her portrait that made the TIME magazine cover, Thunberg wore a green dress that made her look a lot different than we're used to seeing her: hoodies, jeans and tracksuits.

For the world-renowned photographer Hellen van Meene, who took the photograph, the choice of colour has a deeper meaning. With the concrete archway in the background, Thunberg's green symbolises life, in her view.


"The darkness of the corridor is what we will end up in if we don’t pay attention to what Greta is telling us,"  van Meene said in a TIME report. "We shouldn't see Greta as a young cute thing, she’s a serious girl with a serious message...don't get fooled by her age, listen to what she wants to warn us about. She and her generation will have to pay the price, and that's why we should act,” she added.

Thunberg is not just one of TIME's Top 100 more influential this year. She is also one of four 'Next Generation Leaders' chosen by TIME and Rolex in a biannual selection of rising stars in politics, technology, culture, science, sports and business.

In the past, winners have gone on to lead countries, win Golden Globes and take home Olympic medals, the statement says.


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