This talk will provide an introduction to the main themes and questions underpinning the Reimagining Museums for Climate Action project: an international design and ideas competition and associated exhibition to be hosted at Glasgow Science Centre ahead of and during COP26. Rather than focus on one specific type of institution or context, the RMCA project takes an expansive view of the museum field, asking how radical change in the sector might contribute to and inspire broader forms of climate action across society. Central to this is the idea that museums are ecological entities in their own right: complex eco-systems made up of human and more-than-human processes, forces, materialities and possibilities. Thinking about museums ecologically to address the climate crisis means considering everything from curating and conservation to recruitment and retail. It also means recognising that museums are densely entangled with wider social, cultural, political and environmental phenomena, from colonialism and capitalism to urbanisation and extractivism. As a quintessentially modern apparatus, the emergence and spread of the museum around the world tracks broader patterns of social injustice and ecological collapse. More recently however activists, Indigenous groups and grass-roots organisations have lobbied and mobilised museums globally to support more just and sustainable futures. Reimagining Museums for Climate Action responds to this critical conjuncture, where simultaneous calls to decolonise and decarbonise speak to a generational demand for lasting systemic change.
Further details on the UCL Anthropocene site.