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Mild Apocalypse (2016)

Mild Apocalypse - Research based Exhibition at Moesgård Museum

2016 saw the establishment of research collaboration between AURA, C3NET, an FKK-funded archaeological research project at Aarhus University, and Natural Goods, an FKK-funded research project at the Saxo Institute in Copenhagen. The exhibition "Mild Apocalypse" at Moesgaard Museum, the first outcome of this collaborative which opened on February 4, explored the human-shaped landscape of the former brown coal extraction site at Søby. The intention of the exhibition was, using archaeological and anthropological methods, to highlight that apocalypse can take many forms and the Anthropocene is also made up of unspectacular and ‘mild’ cases of human disturbance. What implication, the exhibition asked, does it have for policy and for the prospects of global action that we in the Global North often are shielded from the worst effects of anthropogenic changes to the planet, and tend only to experience the ‘mild’ dimensions of the Anthropocene?

Visitors were invited to explore a peculiar Danish anthropogenic landscape where the extraction of brown coal, regulated by the state and on a rather small-scale basis, has nonetheless left remarkable and permanent traces. The exhibition asked how familiar and unfamiliar forms of life, human and non-human, quietly emerged and continue to emerge in the shadows of prior industrial activity.

Photos from AURA's team member's fieldwork sites at other ruined landscapes were also displayed. Featured  among others were mud volcanoes from Indonesia, water projects in South Africa, steel mills in China, mining in Spain etc.

The research based exhibition ran until June 4 and was curated by post.doc Nathalia Brichet, Associate Professor Felix Riede and Associate Professor Frida Hastrup and received good publicity in the Danish press.