Declaring Emergency: Museums and the Climate Crisis

Wednesday 20 May 2020
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm



  • Theo Gordon (moderator) – Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Heather Ackroyd & Dan Harvey – Artists
  • Farah Ahmed – Julie’s Bicycle
  • Suzanne Dhaliwal – Climate Justice Creative & Director of No Tar Sands
  • Lucia Pietroiusti – Serpentine Galleries
  • Melanie Vandenbrouck – V&A

Organised by

  • MA Curating – Courtauld Institute of Art

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The climate emergency has become a global issue, and museums are starting to take up the debate. Several cultural institutions around the United Kingdom have taken it upon themselves to respond to the increasingly dire climate crisis, but the actual obligations that come along with such a decision are vague.

A difference in mission, procedures, and levels of public engagement have made battling the climate issue an individual process, with very little precedent to pave the way. However, other participants in the museum sphere, such as environmentally-inclined artists and organizations, have begun to weigh in by using their art and resources to critique the current path of cultural institutions and turn museums into spaces of activism.

This discussion, hosted by the MA Curating the Art Museum course at the Courtauld Institute of Art, will focus on the courses of action available to institutions and artists concerned with the climate crisis, and what influence these stakeholders can actually have on a local and global level.