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Paul Mellon Centre | Synthetic Histories: Plastics, Climate and Colonialism

January 27 @ 3:00 am - 12:30 pm

Bringing together thinking from V&A Dundee’s latest exhibition, Plastic: Remaking our World and the Paul Mellon Centre’s multi-year project, Climate & Colonialism, this symposium explores the complex past, problematic present and possible futures of plastic.

Following a private viewing of the exhibition, participants will join international researchers, designers, artists and activists in a series of discussions, presentations and more to consider plastics, climate and colonialism as sets of interconnected material and extractive relations.

The symposium will ask:

  • Where did plastic come from?
  • How do we understand its colonial histories?
  • How are art, craft and design practices implicated in these extractive processes, and how do they challenge them?
  • What is the ongoing impact of climate injustice and the unequal impact of global waste streams on people and the planet?
  • Is there a future post-plastic?
  • What role do artists, designers and environmental humanities researchers play in creating such futures?

Synthetic Histories: Plastics, Climate and Colonialism is convened by Sria Chatterjee, (Paul Mellon Centre); Nichol Keene, Charlotte Hale and Laurie Bassam (V&A Dundee).