Indigenous people in three climates
These days, people all over the world are anxiously following the debate on emissions and use of natural resources. The ongoing climate change does not just affect nature. It also leads to a shift in power relations and the conditions determining how and where we can live in the future. With the exhibition Indigenous people in three climates, the museum aims to show how indigenous people throughout the ages have been displaced due to colonisation and exploitation.
The exhibition is structured around three geographical areas where the effects of climate change will be felt globally, i.e. the drought in Australia, the shrinking of the Amazon rainforests and the melting sea ice in the Arctic. The exhibition Indigenous people in three climates is primarily aimed at accompanied children and school pupils. The idea is that the exhibition will serve as a good basis for discussions on power relations, religion and identity. It also opens up for thoughts on the challenges posed by climate change.
Perhaps the everyday items collected by indigenous people 100 years ago can be given new meanings? We can see them as a repository of ideas and technologies, like a seed bank at a time when we are all forced to think and lead a more sustainable existence. The objects of the indigenous people tell of many generations of experience in how to survive in widely diverse climates.
The objects were collected at a time when colonisation displaced many people from their native lands, something that is still going on in many places today. In the political movements that unite many indigenous people, objects and rituals have become important symbols of their identity and fight for human rights.
The exhibition features a variety of black and white photographs from the museum's large collection of images. The photographs show how the objects function and the circumstances in which they were used before being collected and brought to the museum. The photographs also give us an insight into how the objects were used and perhaps, of a bygone era. However, the often highly structured images are also an indication of the power relations that prevailed during the ethnographic documentations. Rarely is there a glimpse of any equal relations.