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On 16 May, a pop-up Klimaatmuseum (Climate Museum) will open in the University Quarter. The exhibition, which has been developed together with students and researchers from the UvA, will make the impacts of the climate crisis palpable through art, science and interactive installations. ‘We know the facts, but only spring into action when something affects us.’

In the exhibition, which can be seen at VOX-POP until mid-September, you will gain more insight into the UvA’s climate research and you can get inspired by artworks and installations. ‘What makes this exhibition special is that we bring together art, science and climate’, says Laura van Rutten, founder of the Klimaatmuseum and alumnus of the Master’s in Public History (Publieksgeschiedenis) at the UvA.

Life-size infographic

The work of eight UvA scholars from different disciplines is an important pillar of the exhibition. The main conclusions from their research will be put into words and images – through art or interactive installations. 

The researchers include Spinoza Prize winner Joyeeta Gupta, who focuses on global justice in relation to the climate crisis. In a life-size infographic with enormous pie slices, you are able, as a visitor, to help think about how the impacts of the climate crisis can be distributed more fairly across the world.

Different senses

‘In the exhibition, we make a lot of use of behavioural design’, says Van Rutten, ‘in which not only can something be seen, but other senses are appealed to as well. Knowledge simply sticks better when you are actively engaged with something.’

You can also, therefore, move and touch many of the pieces in the exhibition, or immerse yourself in them in a different way. One example of this is an installation about social tipping points, in which you, as a visitor, can turn cogwheels yourself to experience how society can be set in motion. Or a sound art piece in a darkened lift, where for a brief moment you’ll feel that you are metres deep underwater in the Amsterdam harbour.

Hopeful story

The exhibition stems from a collaboration with students and lecturers of the Faculty of Humanities. Among others, student programme makers from VOX-POP, the creative space of the Faculty, contributed to the creation thereof. Students from the Research Master’s programme Art and Performance Research Studies also made artworks for the exhibition, responding to conclusions from research.

‘With this combination of art, science and interactive elements, we not only want to show the urgency of the climate crisis, but above all to tell a hopeful story’, according to Van Rutten. ‘We want to inspire people and enable them to see and experience that change is possible.’

About the Klimaatmuseum

The Klimaatmuseum is a travelling pop-up museum that seeks to make the urgency of the climate crisis clear through the power of imagination. The latter is sorely needed, according to Van Rutten: Scientific knowledge is often complex and abstract. At the Klimaatmuseum, we make this accessible to a wider audience through creativity and interaction. This is important, because we only spring into action when something affects us.’