This project will explore how species extinction, as well as recovery of species threatened by extinction, can be considered within a cultural heritage framework. We will investigate how human-nature entanglements in extinction cases can be placed into cultural contexts within museum and art gallery exhibitions.
Greater input is urgently needed from arts and humanities to work alongside, as well as to critically engage with, the scientific discoveries and ethical imperatives of contemporary wildlife conservation studies. Because museums and art galleries are one of the primary sites of public engagement with conservation issues including extinction, critical reflection on how they can be used to cultivate heritage thinking about non-human species is timely in light of the increasing number of species lost to extinction each year as we live through the 'six mass extinction event'.
The project investigates display practices for cultural stories of both extinction and the recovery of species which had been on the brink of extinction with an interdisciplinary collaborative approach.
Impacts & Results
The project will explore the multiple emotional framing active simultaneously in displays, including loss, guilt, belonging, care, mourning, and celebration, using interactive workshops, art-as-research practice, and narrative analysis.
The project will develop best practices for how the cultural significance of extinction events, whether they happened or were averted, can be displayed in museums and galleries and implement those best practices in three exhibit spaces as a testing ground for research.
Banner: "After the extinctions ... at least our kids will always have the dominoes" by woodleywonderworks is licensed under CC BY 2.0