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Climate & Eco-Museum

What are current climate challenges? Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our times. Temperatures and sea levels are rising, glaciers and snow are melting and droughts and wildfires are starting to take place more frequently, as it is shown on one important Bastardilla’s artwork of SAMA collection:

The artwork draws attention to the impact the growing and expanding industrial district of Nieuw West Amsterdam can have on ecology and water pollution, and specifically the nearby Ij-canal leading to the North Sea. It is all depicted through a colorful horizontally positioned mermaid reminding the local community of the effects plastic and new entrepreneurs’ business can cause.

But, we can still do something about climate change:

“Climate change is a global threat, but solutions involve a superhuman level of sacrifice and awareness”- MIT Sloan’s Christopher Knittel.

It seems just like a little help for Earth when we try to do simple everyday actions to protect the planet, but we have to emphasize the relevance of working together to solve problems and also influence other people. Recycling, composting, riding a bike rather than driving a car or using less electricity everyday can appear as nothing, but it's the main key.

What is classic museum vs eco-museum?

ICOM association gave itself a proper definition of a classic museum in 2007:

“A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment”.

On the contrary, an eco-museum is focused on the identity of the immediate environment in connection with neighbourhood participation, aimed at improving the development and quality of life of the local communities. In addition, the preservation of tangible and intangible art and heritage is another of its pertinent purposes. SAMA is all about that.

In which way SAMA is considered also to be a non-pollutive eco-museum?

SAMA’s collection is ephemeral, as real street art usually leads to artworks which are not meant to last for a long time: the most important part of the street art process is the moment of realisation and the concepts conveyed, which are the only ones meant to be forever. As a consequence of that SAMA doesn’t need to waste work tools, other materials or electricity to restore its artworks, leaving everything to chance and of course that’s already a start.

But there are also other ways in which we are concerned about environmental protection. For instance, we manage not to waste artificial light and electricity in 2 different ways: opening office hours are purposely during the day from 11AM to 4 PM the whole week, taking advantage of the daylight entering from our open big windows and our roller shutters up; moreover, our collection is outside of the gallery, in the streets, and can profit of natural light to be shown as its best to the public. Last but not least, even if SAMA is an open air museum and artworks are located far from one another we don’t give tours on pollutive means of transport choosing a 2 hours and a half walk instead, or to the utmost the bike. This last ecologic transport is also represented in Hopnn’s I like to ride my bike, a very important piece of our collection which not only wants to convey a positive message for our planet, but also the right attitude to be followed to help Earth everyday.

What are SAMA main partners in this eco-friendly field?

1) On the Second of September, it started the Climate Makers festival (Klimaatmakers) or Stichting 2030, a Jasper Visser’s project in collaboration with Het Klimaatmuseum. The main aim is to search for locally relevant solutions that deal with climate change and its consequences: inviting people to identify local problems and then finding solutions to them is how all this event works. In the end, artists will build some of these inventions based on people’s ideas and in an auction, we’ll ask organizations to commit to adopting these inventions.

For example, over 200 kids already created the first ideas for climate inventions: from air conditioning for glaciers to plastic collecting drones and flying heat shields for gardens to machines to message the past to take action earlier.

2) Laura van Rutten, the founder of the Het Klimaatmuseum, who collaborates in Leiden with Visser’s project too for the festival Klimaatmakers.

3) European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) who found a partner in us for the Creative Europe Project developed by the leading municipality of Lavarone called ROOTS by Giulia Pugliese. Her proposal focuses on warning and sensitize people about climate change, the results it already has on the territories and how it can affect the relationship between local communities - for whom and with whom SAMA works everyday - and their own areas which need to be preserved somehow through the power of art and the everyday reinforcement of their cultural sense of identity.

To sum up, SAMA is unique in a way it can bring awareness on climate change and raise interest in trying to find the solution that fits each problem.

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Estella Tongwei
Estella Tongwei
Sep 29, 2021

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