Possible Culture

A key aim of Climate Museum UK is to support cultural & civic workers to address the challenges of engaging audiences with climate change. The pop-up museum is installed through a participatory workshop (or a series of sessions) with teams, to help them reflect on these challenges and design an appropriate experience for their audiences. We can also run workshops without the end goal of installing a pop-up museum, addressing more internal needs.

Some of these tools or activities used are freely shared here under the name ‘Possible Culture’.

Possible Culture refers to the idea that cultural organisations will continue to exist despite future challenges (such as the climate emergency) by looking squarely at those challenges, imagining the future, and being relevant to their communities.

  • They might take a ‘Possitopian‘ approach, not being stuck in either wishful Utopian or despairing Dystopian positions about the future, but looking imaginatively and openly at the widest cone of possibility.
  • They might proactively work with communities to shift towards more regenerative and circular economies.
  • They might explore ethical and participatory forms of revenue generation in order to sustain themselves when or where public funding dries up.
  • They might provide safe, inclusive spaces for envisaging possible futures, for learning from indigenous cultures or from the capacities of nature, and for helping communities take action for eco-social justice.

The continued existence of culture and its organisations is dependent on the possibility of a habitable biosphere. This possibility is looking threatened within this century. So, cultural organisations have to contribute to the possibility of our continued existence, including their own. These tools or exercises might go some way to encouraging teams to work together towards this possibility, and to consider what will need to change.

A first step might be to declare a climate and ecological emergency, and to take part in #CultureDeclaresEmergency