Welcome to our 2022 Summer Solstice newsletter, bringing you news about our collective work, as well as our individual projects as associates.
Knowing who we are
We have been thinking about our future strategy. Caroline Bray has joined us as a new director to help us define our purpose and get better structures in place to grow our capacity.
There are three aspects to our definition as a museum.
- An experimental museum, rethinking institutions in an Earth crisis, working with cultural partners on training, research and advocacy to deepen their own responses and invite audiences to see with ‘eco lenses’.
- A distributed museum, a collective of creative practitioners activating our communities across the UK, helping people to express Earth emotions, to explore the toxic histories that led to the crisis, and to open imaginations to possible futures.
- A digital museum, creating a Possitopia online, with resources, stories & collections that show possibilities of safe, green and just places and planet.
This allows us to define and fundraise for our collective projects feeding these three aspects.
Power of Place course
Four of us are on the course The Power of Place, run by Jenny Andersson of Really Regenerative. We’re using this to boost our collective knowledge of living systems theory and ecocentric regeneration of places. As our response to the course brief, we’re developing a set of activity templates and case studies called Possible Places – inspired by our Possitopia principle.
Centre for Arts and Learning, Goldsmiths
We are excited that a joint project with the Centre for Arts and Learning at Goldsmiths (University of London) has achieved funding. It will explore different participatory arts methods for engaging young people in climate research. Artists involved include Kevin Davidson and Kimberley Foster.
Tullie House partnership
We’re partnering with Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery in Carlisle on their Once Upon a Planet project. We’ve delivered two staff training workshops, putting an Eco Lens on Things, and are welcoming our new jointly recruited young associate, Megan Bowyer. Megan will work with a community group to develop creative responses to the exhibition ‘Human Change Not Climate Change’, and is also joining our team of associates.
This is a pilot for our Emerging Practitioners scheme for which we are seeking funding, aiming to provide training and placements with nine partner organisations.
We’re also delivering lots of talks and training – in Scotland, Finland, Italy and beyond – and are having exciting conversations about partnerships. Do check our blog for more news
A Norwich base?
Bridget McKenzie has moved back to Norwich, bringing her CMUK collections with her. These include handling objects, games, books, art, posters and ephemera. She’s hoping to create a visitable base in Norwich. It might be temporary, move from site to site, or more permanent. It might be open by appointment or for workshops. If anyone has ideas about CMUK having a presence in Norwich, or wants to learn about getting involved as an associate, please email: email@example.com
Bridget has also published a book and some toolkits:
- Find Your Flow and Change the World, an illustrated guidebook for wellbeing of self, communities and planet
- People Take Action, 8 pathways for a safe, just and green future
- Culture Takes Action toolkit, 8 pathways for a regenerative culture – aimed at cultural organisations and practitioners
A curious exhibition appeared at a park near Elephant & Castle, London on the 16th June. Students from London College of Communication studying on the Design for Social Innovation & Sustainable Futures MA, worked with different groups to co-create future scenarios and artefacts.
The students transformed found materials and customised existing objects to ensure their creations were sustainable. Working with Lucy Carruthers to imagine how, as characters from these future worlds, they could communicate these objects and stories to the public in 2022. Approaches to demonstrate these possible worlds included engaging the audience in imagining what role they may take in these future communities through games and making activities.
The image above shows the artefact created by Frieda Bischoff, Vassi Deij and their co-designers, which features hand embroidered pledges on recycled fabric dyed using avocado skins. A soundscape by Tom Costello attracted visitors to the space and participants were invited to add their own pledges.
The Ripple Effect
James Aldridge is involved in The Ripple Effect, an exciting new river based project in Salisbury with Wessex Archaeology, that is informed by his ongoing Queer River research. It responds to the increasing flood risk to Salisbury due to climate change, as well as the needs to provide riverside wildlife habitats and improved access for people. James and colleagues will be engaging people across all generations through walks, workshops, creative moments and shared experiences.
New book by Lorraine Finch
Associate Lorraine Finch has published a book Low Cost/No Cost Tips for Sustainability in Cultural Heritage, available in print and eBook. It’s simple, clear and easy to follow. It is stuffed with actions that you take straight away, for little or no cost, that will have an immediate effect, regardless of whether you work in heritage or not. Printed in the most sustainable way possible. Available here from World of Books (a BCorp)
hubRen in Waltham Forest
Associate Amy Scaife a.k.a hubRen has raised some funding with us to deliver creative conversations across Waltham Forest, utilising the collection of resources and activities contained within her re-purposed Christiania cargo bike. hubRen is a mobile, pop-up invitation to learn, imagine and connect, to create together a climate safe and fair future for all. Some funding for this has come from UrbanA, supported by ICLEI and Robert Bosch Stiftung, enabling Amy to be part of a Europe-wide cohort of experimenters for sustainable change in their communities.
A primary goal of the pop-ups is for each one to be in partnership with a different local organisation or initiative, to amplify and weave together the myriad of ways that resilience can be cultivated in the local community. If you are part of a Waltham Forest organisation and feel there is potential for collaboration, Amy would love to hear from you! Please drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Greener & Cleaner Bromley
Tamasin Rhymes has been actively involved in setting up the Greener & Cleaner Hub in Bromley’s Glades shopping centre. Watch this video from Transition Together to hear about the vision for the group and the Hub space, from its founder Parisa Wright.