Matters of Care: Museum Futures in Times of Planetary Precarity

CONFERENCE CANCELLATION: Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, we have regretfully decided to cancel this conference. We have been closely monitoring the changing situation and following Public Health England's advice. Due to the changing situation around the virus over the past few days, we have received many cancellations both from speakers and participants, who - with much regret - have had to cancel their participation due to Covid19 related international travel restrictions. Furthermore, having considered the risks involved for all of us as participants regarding health and care related matters, we feel that this is the only right decision to make.

Over the next few weeks, we will be working with speakers and project management to see what digital/other means and dates we can find to continue our conversations on museum futures in times of planetary precarity, a conversation that feels even more urgent now in this globally precarious moment.


Wednesday 18 March, 15.00 - 17.30  

Pitt Rivers Museum

Taking care logo

How can ethnographic museums play a role in working towards a more sustainable future? Hear museum sector leaders outline their vision and aims for the future.

15.00 - 15.20   Welcome from Laura Van Broekhoven, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, and Claudia Augustat, Curator at Weltmuseum Wien and Taking Care Project Leader.

15.20 - 15.40   Pauline von Hellermann, Senior Lecturer in Anthopology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

We will use Wednesday afternoon to more practically discuss how we can use our collections and galleries as spaces which create active discussion around the impact of humans on the planet, while also highlighting what long-term perspectives can tell us about sustainability for developing positive futures. Can we find practical steps each museum might envision taking that can make a difference now, and what might we learn from each other's current efforts?

15.40 - 17.15   Breakout groups:

                        Group 1: Designing and implementing public programming on climate change and biodiversity led by Chris Jarvis, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, UK

                        Group 2: How do colonialism and environmental precarity overlap in your collection? How does this overlap take material form? led by Alessandra BenedictyWayne Modest (via Skype), and Rita Ouédraogo, National Museum of World Cultures, Netherlands

                        Group 3: What are the practical steps we can take to reduce waste as museums and how do we include our visitors in this process? led by Vered Balan, University of Oxford Sustainability Team and Ashley Coutu, Pitt Rivers Museum, UK

17.30 - 19.00  Reception in Pitt Rivers Museum

See the full conference schedule here.