Green Tease Reflections: Museums of the FutureNow: Environmental Justice 

2nd September 2020

A gloved hand holding a piece of computer circuit board

18th August 2020. This Green Tease event took place online as part of Just Festival’s digital programme and was created by Jo Hodges, Robbie Coleman, and Dr Michael Bonaventura with the support of Creative Carbon Scotland.

It sought to provide a space for participants to consider issues of environmental justice and collectively imagine what Scotland could look like over the coming decades. This was an online version of the ongoing Museums of the FutureNow project.

Ahead of the event, selected participants were sent ‘exhibits’, including a vial of liquid, a fragment of computer hardware and a piece of rusted wire. These arrived in sealed bags, accompanied by gloves for handling the object and information about the future year they came from and the policy area they related to.

At the event itself, participants split into groups, each of which discussed one exhibit and developed a story to explain its significance and why it had been included in the museum. These stories were then shared back with everyone else. The stories participants came up with included:

  • The grassroots move in the 2040s to democratise energy from nuclear fusion and make it equally accessible to all
  • How migrants were forced northwards due to climate change, leading to protests over the unequal distribution of land in Scotland
  • The 2030 ‘year without midges’ and the guerrilla campaign to prevent Scotland’s midges from going extinct and save the food chain

The telling of these stories led into further discussion about issues of environmental justice including:

  • When we speak of justice, do we use this to refer to humans or should it be expanded to include other animals and issues of ‘ecocide’?
  • Many of our stories placed the agency for change in the hands of communities and grassroots campaigns rather than policy makers. Did we think that this is the way that change is most likely to happen?
  • It was commented that the stories told were generally more optimistic in character than those told at previous ‘Climate Futures’ events held as part of The Museums of the FutureNow. Was this related to the emphasis on justice?

The event concluded with some questions and reflections on the Museums of the FutureNow format and how it had been developed. Many participants expressed interest in keeping in touch with each other for future conversations.

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Green Tease

Green Tease is a network and ongoing informal events programme, connecting creative practices and environmental sustainability across Scotland.  Creative Carbon Scotland runs the Green Tease Open Call, which is a funded opportunity supporting sustainability practitioners and artists to exchange ideas, knowledge and practices with the aim of building connections and widening understanding of the role of arts in influencing a more sustainable society.

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We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

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A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

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