“We exist to stir and collect creative responses to the emergency.”

The mobile and digital Climate Museum UK.
Bridget McKenzie in conversation with Elke Zobl and Timna Pachner

How would you go about it if, for example, we said that we wanted to have this pop-up museum in Salzburg? How would we proceed?

Well, if you were in London, or in the southeast of England, I would come with my trolley of my museum, my objects, my resources, maybe with one of our team members, and we would work out with you how long you wanted the pop-up and who it was for. It is always a little bit bespoke. But if it was to be in Salzburg, well… (laughs).*1 *(1)

Is there anything you would like to add? Maybe something we forgot or something that seems important to you that has not been said?

I suppose I did not really talk about the importance of climate justice. At the beginning, you asked me what was important for me to communicate and I did not really say that for us, the most important things are the human and ethical aspects. I talked about climate emotions, but I did not really talk about the ethics of this, and how important it is to enrich the registers of communication around climate and ecology. We very much want to broaden the discussion to be less about the technical aspects like plastic cups, driving and reducing emissions. Not because that is not important, but because it is covered by other organizations so well. We are really trying to focus on understanding the experience of living in a planetary emergency for people in different situations. In some ways, we are all on the frontline of the planetary emergency. We are all connected with people who are more directly on the frontline. That is what I am trying to say. Rather than a “them and us” approach, justice issues are things that affect all of us. This is an important principle really. We have several principles. One of them is being intersectional, one of them is being participatory. Everyone is understood to have plural identities and the diversity of perspective is really important. That sounds a bit theoretical, but these principles underpin our work. In distributing our practice, if people are hundreds of miles away from our base, running a workshop under our banner, we need to know that they are signing up to those principles about respecting diversity and foregrounding justice.

Yes, that is really important. It is great that you added that. We will learn a lot from your fascinating project. It is a big thing you are doing.

Yes, it is quite ambitious really. Sometimes I think: “Oh, it is just me scruffing around with my collages and cutting out parts.” But then I realize that there are hundreds of people who are interested in this.

We were so excited when we saw this on the internet, we thought that we had to interview you. It is quite a big movement, actually. It is very powerful.

It is really nice to hear the word “movement”, actually. Perhaps we are a movement for climate museums.

April 22nd 2020*2 *(2)

The Innsbruck Nature Film Festival followed up and the Climate Museum UK provided a display for a cinema foyer in Autumn 2020.

Since this interview, there have been some changes in the thinking and structure of Climate Museum UK.

Bridget McKenzie, Elke Zobl, Timna Pachner (2021): “We exist to stir and collect creative responses to the emergency.”. The mobile and digital Climate Museum UK.
Bridget McKenzie in conversation with Elke Zobl and Timna Pachner. In: p/art/icipate – Kultur aktiv gestalten #12 , https://www.p-art-icipate.net/we-exist-to-stir-and-collect-creative-responses-to-the-emergency/