HUMAN NATURE – an exhibition about our consumption and the future of the planet
By early February, the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg will be filled with both messages of big threats, and messages with strong hope. Based on objects from the vast collections of the Museums of World Culture, as well as several ongoing scientific projects, the exhibition takes on the most burning question of our time.
It's all connected. How we live our lives is closely related to the state of our earth.
The signals are clear – climate is changing, and species are becoming extinct. Our excessive consumption is one of the problems, but around the world there are strong forces for change. There are other relationships to earth than just as a resource for human needs.
The exhibition Human Nature invites the visitor to follow some if the threads in our tangled world. We ask poignant questions while at the same time reminding visitors that we all can contribute to change.
- It's about the biggest societal change we are faced with today, said Ann Follin, Director General of the Museums of World Culture. Based on current scientific research as well as unique collections and objects from around the world, we want to contribute with knowledge and perspective related to the situation of today, and perhaps even inspire to a more sustainable way of life in the future.
One of the scientific research projects that has contributed to the exhibition is MistraSustainableConsumption, a large investment in science financed by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. The research program will develop guidelines for how corporate enterprises, politicians, decision makers and the civil society can make it easier for us to consume in a more sustainable way.
Additionally, a cooperation with social anthropologists called Re: heritage explores the relationship between humans and things. What do we repair and care for, and what do we consume?
Yet another part of the exhibition shares new scientific results from an international study in environmental psychology, as previously published in the periodical Nature. This section shows how human and societal gains can motive people to implement environmental improvements – regardless of whether the individual believes in climate change.
Human Nature does not ignore the huge problems we are facing. Mass consumption has created a world that threatens essential and sensitive systems.
-This is not just a dark and sad story, said Lena Stammarnäs, exhibition curator of Human Nature. There's a lot of hope through all the initiatives that are created around the world, and hopefully the visitor will be inspired. As consumer and citizen, you can make a difference – we can all contribute to change through the choices we make.
Human Nature will be on display at the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg from the 8th of February 2019 until May 2020. Exhibition will move to the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm where it will be on display from Autumn of 2020.
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