Climate change and the power of art


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The Museum of Food at COP23 (Photo:


According to Professor Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University, “many environmentalists say climate change is happening too fast. No, it’s happening too slowly. It’s not happening nearly quickly enough to get our attention.”

The sense of urgency is clearly not getting through. Apathy to climate change is a major concern and the biggest obstacle to addressing the problem.

Can art help us to raise the alarm? My colleagues and I at the Nordic Food Policy Lab at the Nordic Council of Ministers think so. That’s why we teamed up with Art Rebels to create the Museum of Food, helping us ignite emotions and bring climate change into our everyday lives.

The Museum of Food simulates a future where some of our favourite foods like avocados and bananas have vanished. This exhibition consists of nine different time capsules that capture the essence of these endangered foods. The vacuum-packed products created a visually pleasing yet distancing environment — allowing the audience to reflect and contemplate their future of food. Various historical and cultural relics were included in each time capsule, showcasing how the perception and interpretation of these foods have evolved over time.

We used the Museum of Food to staging the discussions at Nordic Food Day at COP23 in Bonn on 9 November 2017. We welcomed dreamers, visionaries and enablers to the table and provided a ‘tasting menu’ of initiatives and scientific knowledge supporting sustainable food systems.

Check out the video about the Museum of Food here.

To read more about how the arts can help us combat climate change, check out this piece in The Guardian.



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