Published 2019-03-12

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Exhibition about hope

A new exhibition at the Museums of World Culture in Gothenburg seeks to inspire more sustainable ways of living. The aim is to get there by spreading hope. Mistra Sustainable Consumption is one of the organisers.

The Human Nature exhibition invites visitors to pursue some of the themes in our mixed-up world. The idea is to prompt questions while making visitors aware that they can all help to bring about change.

‘​Based on current research and our unique worldwide collections, our aim is to bring knowledge and insight to bear on the present-day situation. Perhaps we’ll even be able to inspire more sustainable ways of living for the future,’ says Ann Follin, Director General of the Museums of World Culture.

Among those who have helped to create the exhibition is Mistra Sustainable Consumption. This programme’s achievements have included drawing up plans for how businesses, politicians, decision-makers and civil society could make it easier for us to consume more sustainably.

In another research collaboration included in the exhibition, Re:heritage, the Museum has worked with social anthropologists to explore humankind’s relationships with objects. What we mend and take care of, and what we consume, are a few of the questions raised.

The exhibition also highlights how both personal and community benefits can motivate people to implement environmental improvements, even if they are not true believers in, or have the will to concern themselves with, climate change.

The exhibition does not shrink from the problems facing the world, such as the fact that current mass consumption threatens vitally important and vulnerable systems.

‘Still, the story isn’t all dark and gloomy,’ says exhibition producer Lena Stammarnäs.

She prefers to emphasise the hope generated by initiatives under way around the world.

‘The hope is that we’ll give the visitors inspiration and understanding that we consumers and citizens can make a difference — that we can all contribute to change through the choices we make.’

Human Nature will be on show at the Museums of World Culture from 8 February until spring 2020. The exhibition will then move to Stockholm and the Museum of Ethnography. There too, it will be shown for a year and a half.

More about the exhibition

Text: Per Westergård