Today’s post is by Jennie from the Visitor Team at Manchester Museum. We are not experts, but we are people with a passionate interest in the museum and its objects. We each bring our own insight into Manchester Museum and its collections.
The galleries at Manchester Museum are always filled with the stories, ideas and opinions of many different voices, and in anticipation of the forthcoming Climate Control exhibition, over the last few months, much of the conversation has focused on climate change. Throughout this post are some of the things that people have been saying…
Depressing reminders relating to global warming are part of the menagerie of messages that the media pump out in clouds, and can often fuel feelings of gloom and guilt. The Climate Control exhibition running from 11th May to 1st October 2016 promises to be a clear way through the frustrating fogs of daunting negativity in a surprisingly bright and uplifting way. This is our major contribution to Manchester’s year as European City of Science for 2016, and Head of Collections and spokesperson for the project, Henry McGhie, says the aim “is to disrupt the sense of hopelessness.”
“I thought museums were bound by an ethical code – I’m glad they can use their collections to make a difference.”
The temporary exhibition focusses less on repeating well-worn stories of doom and gloom to reveal the positives, the progresses, success stories, and the amazing innovations that encourage joy and celebrate triumph in the face of adversity. The museum teams have risen to the challenge of re-invigorating a difficult topic, hopefully making this a unique, community-driven and empowering experience, by focusing on creativity and solution-finding, encouraging people to think about the things that they can do rather than the things they can’t, and to better understand the bigger issues and constraints to positive change.
Male: “I don’t go out on my motorbike if it’s to cold.” Female: “I stay in bed and don’t leave my room.”
We are proud to be a part of the University of Manchester, and we are excited to be teaming up with the world of science to explore the wider ideas, issues and solutions associated with Climate Control.
The museum is an ideal place to start the conversation, as it has always promoted critical thinking and thoughtful action as we continue to educate, inform and inspire an often very diverse audience. Our Fossils gallery evidences the natural phenomena of climate changes and extinctions, while our Living Worlds gallery celebrates the diversity and variety of life on the planet, as well as highlighting human impact through domination and use of natural resources. Not to mention our project conserving several endangered frog species in The Vivarium.
“When humans do bad things they are described as animals. But animals live within the environment & don’t plunder its resources”
Although we can’t change our past, we can all get involved in making a positive impact on the future. This exhibition will celebrate the positive actions that many of us are already taking, and hopefully encourage visitors to work together in the face of one of the most complex challenges of our time.
“’I’ make little impact, but together ‘we’ make a huge difference”
Not to give too much away, but look out for polar bears and peppered moths…
Climate Control opens on 11th May, but you can join in the conversation now at #MMClimateControl