Workshop: Curating climate - Museums as ‘contact zones’ of climate research, education and activism

How do we narrate climatic change in a museum environment and initiate dialogue across its stakeholders? How can museums become ‘contact zones’ where science and education, activism and entertainment, debate and tourism interact productively?

Architects rendering of planned new climate house, sunny with kids playing in front of the building.

The workshop will take place at The Natural History Museum, the site of the new Climate House (Klimahuset) to be opened in 2020.The event is organized by the Curating Climate Collaboratory funded by Oslo School of Environmental Humanities as a long-term collaboratory research project. The international workshop has received additional support from UiO Energy and Heritage Experience Initiative.

The workshop will explore the emerging, dynamic and transgressive field of the ‘climate museum’. It will trace a unique and highly interdisciplinary space of encounter that connects the sciences and the humanities, academic and public spheres, research and action. The international workshop will host four keynote speakers and six different sessions with total of over 20 presenters. 

For enquiries please contact Bergsveinn Thorsson.

Description

How do we narrate climatic change in a museum environment and initiate dialogue across its stakeholders? How can museums become ‘contact zones’ where science and education, activism and entertainment, debate and tourism interact productively? Various cultural institutions have recently taken up the challenges of communicating climate change and engaging with their communities. They range from established museums to new, emerging and experimental spaces. All attempt to promote debate and tell the stories we desperately need to connect scientific results to human lifeworlds.
Climate change is a complex phenomenon that crosses the register of nature and culture. Its ecological, cultural and technological impacts connect the global and the local. The importance of addressing climate breakdown in a global perspective reflecting the different challenges facing different regions makes museums revisit their collections, exhibition designs and expert networks as well as develop their cross-societal appeal. Under these challenging terms, they could provide a readymade infrastructure for climate change communication and co-creation as spaces for the intersection of climate research, dissemination and activism.

What are the competences museums need to develop in order to engage with the multiscalar and complex phenomenon? Do we need new institutions or are established museums capable of rethinking their approaches and use their resources to foster understanding and action to engage with the global environmental crisis? Should the focus be on the sustainable development goals, the Agenda 2030, climate change or even the Anthropocene?

Program

Monday 28th October

08:45

Registration

09:15

Welcome and introduction

09:30

Keynote: Museums: 55,000 ways to address climate change. Henry McGhie, Curating Tomorrow

10:15

Coffee

10:45

Parallel sessions

 

Session 1: Sustainability, loss and hope (Tøyen Hovedgård)

This session raises questions of how to integrate notions of sustainability, hope and loss in museums and cultural institutions. What can local cultural workers achieve through community engagement? Are museums sites of healing, re-establishing local heritage or future sites of navigating ruins?

Session presentations

Is the future of museums – museums from the future? Ludwig Bengtsson Sonesson

The Role of Museums in Creating Climate Hope. Sarah W. Sutton

Holding hope and loss together: museums, climate change and emotion work. Anna Woodham

 

 Session 2: Collections and display (Lids Hus)

What are the challenges of working with established collections and displays?  This session deals with the complicated task of engaging the climate crisis through collections, temporary and permanent exhibitions. How do institutions co-create exhibitions? How to create climate related interventions in established permanent collections and displays?

Session presentations

Temporary Climate – Engaging with climate crisis at Norsk Teknisk Museum. Dr. Ageliki Lefkaditou, Nina Bratland and Torhild Skåtun

New Conversations with Collections: The V&A and Smithsonian Institution Partnership at V&A East. Zofia Trafas White and Thomas Wide

Curating Soy - Intervention ideas for museums with long-standing permanent exhibitions in time of the climate crisis. Magdalena Puchberger and Dr. Nina Szogs

12:00

Lunch

13:00

Parallel sessions

 

Session 3: Climate Change Communication (Tøyen Hovedgård)

What are the pedagogical tools for performing climate change communication in a museum setting? This session explores how to combine scientific information, psychological and pedagogical standpoints and dissemination technologies. How do museums engage their audience in learning activities on climate change?

Session presentations

The psychology and pedagogy of climate change. What can museum communication professionals learn from it? Dr. Maria Daskolia

Ten years of climate communication at Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost. Dr. Susanne Nawrath

“Museum of flux" and "Climate Change, visualization and local curation". Jarl Holstad and Gunnar Liestøl

 

Session 4: Aesthetics and Activism (Lids Hus)

What is the significance of art in increasing understanding and encouraging action in face of the climate crisis? This session explores a range of artistic approaches to environmental issues in terms of curating art exhibitions, collaboration with contemporary artists and through artistic-scientific investigations.

Session Presentations

Lara Almarcegui: Forensic Material Research. Helene Romakin

Between activism and aesthetics: the role of art in the global climate effort. Dr. Natalie Tominga Hope O'Donnell

Poetics and Politics of Atmospheric Care: Imaginaries, data, environmentality. Hanna Husberg and Agata Marzecova

14:30

Coffee

15:00

Klimahuset presentation and tour. Torkjell Leira, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

17:00

Reception at Nobel Peace Center

Drinks and light food, guided tour and presentation of KlimaLab and KlimaKontoret

Tuesday 29th October

09:30

Keynote: The Anthropocene intervention: integrating humans, nature, collections and communities. Nicole E. Heller, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

10:15

Coffee

10:45

Parallel sessions

 

Session 5: Environmental Justice (Tøyen Hovedgård)

How can museums change people’s perspective towards the climate crisis? This session deals with social and cultural injustices and the disproportionate effects of climate change. How can museums engage that in their exhibitions and educational activities? What about their material strategies in narrating the climate crisis?

Session presentations

Re-Imagining the Museum with Young People: approaching climate change through environmental justice. Dr. Hannah-Lee Chalk

To avoid preaching to the choir. Víctor González Quintanilla

Human Nature. About Consumption and the Future of Our Planet. Martin Schultz

 

Session 6: Multi-Stakeholder Environment (Lids Hus)

Museums are platforms for multiple stakeholders to meet and collaborate. This session engages with a wide range of stakeholders in a museum setting, from researchers, rural communities, networks of museums to museum shops. How do the diverse collaborations materialize? What can be done to expand what is already in place?

Session presentations

Learning about Environmental Change in the Bhutan Himalayas. Dr. Sameer Honwad and Dr. Shivaraj Bhattarai

Museums Have No Borders: Museums as Part of a Network of Change. Georgina McDowall

Museum shops: On the frontline of museums’ climate change reduction strategies. Dr. Jamie Larkin

12:00

Lunch

13:00

Keynote: Molly Fannon, CEO UN Live Museum

13:45

Keynote: Jean Hilgersom, president of ICAMT

14:30

Coffee

15:00

Summary Session

Please, note that the program may be subject to change.

 

Organizer

Prof Brita Brenna (University of Oslo), Prof Dominik Collet (Oslo School of Environmental Humanities), Torkjell Leira (Klimahuset Oslo), Morien Rees (ICOM’s working group on sustainability), Bergsveinn Thorsson (University of Oslo).
Tags: Museums and Museology, Climate Change, OSEH
Published July 8, 2019 1:44 PM - Last modified Oct. 22, 2019 1:32 PM