June news update

This is a personal news update from me (Bridget) which has been sent to people who have signed up to our mailing list for quarterly updates.

Future newsletters will be seasonally themed and with richer content. Email us on climatemuseumuk@gmail.com to go on our list, which is used for no other communication than this.

In the past 3 months we’ve had limited capacity, with team members affected in various ways including for me a close family bereavement, and we are in a very different operating mode since lockdown. We guess you’re in a similar place.

That said, we’ve done more online activity – such as our Acts of Tree Kindness during the Urban Tree Festival – and are reflecting on our strategy, policies and our offer. This is an account of where we are and how the path we’d set out on may need to change.

Before March, we were receiving many enquiries to deliver workshops and training, and we responded eagerly, keen to live up to our mission of responding to the Earth crisis. Now that the virus and racism crises have come along, we’re yet more aware just how complex and emotive are the subjects we are tackling. We’ve begun learning from psychologists about environmental trauma. We’ve been exploring how the pandemic is a symptom of the ecological emergency and how in turn this Earth crisis has arisen from extractive colonialism. We’re seeing how big systemic challenges are not just abstract ideas, but that they can materially and profoundly affect certain communities, especially black and indigenous people.

Our pre-lockdown workshops had great feedback. Our work is seen as unique, relevant and thoughtful. However, we still are at an early stage, and there is much work to do to evaluate, redesign and expand our materials, and to develop our own skills as a team. Nobody knows yet when we can run workshops and pop-ups as before, so we continue to focus on online collecting and conversations.

To that end….

We are planning to hold some online conversations and would love it if you might join with these, free of charge. The first – on 29 July – will be with our fellow Activist Museum award winners, International Museum of Slavery and Museum as Muck – on being an activist museum worker. Details to come.

We can facilitate bespoke online training for students or professionals: exploring how to engage your communities with the planetary emergency, and how to plan action.

We also invite you to explore our digital enquiries and see if you can benefit from exploring one of these themes with us:

Stories of Extraction 

Extreme Weather Stories 

And more here 

We’re continuing to play a role in campaigns such as Culture Declares, Museums Facing Crisis, Museums for Future, and ‘Objects Declare Emergency’. We will be taking part in the climate-themed Big Draw this Autumn. We’re also excited to be working up ideas to enter the prize ‘Reimagining Museums for Climate Action’

We were happy to receive funds from Lewisham Launchpad to run a series of Creative Climate Conversations in Lewisham. If you’re in the borough and would like to arrange a session with your community, youth or school group – online for now, or in your setting in future, do get in touch on climatemuseumuk@gmail.com

For the time being, until we know we can deliver live activities, we cannot make any arrangements to travel or to pop-up. In addition, due to our reflection on our policies and approaches, we may still make adjustments to our model and costs, so if we were in the process of arranging a project with you, we will need to revisit that conversation. Do get in touch to let us know how you’re getting on and how we can continue our connection with you. 

Oh, and one last thing: this Saturday 20 June is the solstice, the longest day, when people for centuries have celebrated the miracle of the sun and how it makes possible a green, biodiverse planet. As we can’t gather in person, why not #DressforSolstice by decorating your window, door, local tree or yourselves. Share with the hashtag. More here

#DressforSolstice (1)

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