Review: Our Time on Earth at Barbican Centre

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A small fisherman walks under the ancient tree root bridge at Mawlynnong village.

What if we could speak to other species? Well, the latest exhibition at the Barbican Centre helps us to do just that.

Our Time on Earth is the highly-anticipated exhibition which discusses the power of collective creativity and how we can transform the conversation around climate change.

Through a diverse range of artistic mediums, Our Time on Earth presents a range of perspectives and invites us to experience them all while deepening our understanding and connection with nature.

From the start of the exhibition it is clear that the curators want us to engage with the climate crisis without taking a dystopian view. It feels like a positive journey to ignite hope and not paralysis from fear.

As you enter the dark exhibition, you’re immediately surrounded by wildlife bellowing out of speakers. A dinner table is placed in the centre of the first room with a window onto an imagined future where mother nature has reclaimed the city.

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You continue on towards videos and artwork created by indigenous people discussing the human race and mass consumption, which is devastating to our planet. Despite the indigenous people being closer and more caring towards nature, they are the ones experiencing climate change first hand as we use their resources.

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Noise Aquarium

As one person suggests, the climate crisis is a geopolitical fault not a geological fault and ignorance is violence when it comes to saving our planet.

The exhibition evolves into a more optimistic display with future-orientated solutions using traditional wisdom from indigenous people that is often seen as primitive in the western world.

For example, models of water-sharing infrastructures are displayed. Here we see how technology can help using traditional knowledge of mother nature.

The large exhibition includes interactive games to help you see the world from the eyes of other species or beings – even a river. Imagine what the world looks and feels like as a river.

Make sure you continue this augmented reality by heading downstairs to the Pit. You’ll find large screens depicting life as a tiny plankton. The footage helps you to understand what life would sound like as a microscopic organism under the water. Our Time on Earth is informative and inspiring, immersive and awakening. A must-see for all walks of life.

May 5 – August 29
The Curve, Barbican Centre EC2Y 8DS
barbican.org.uk

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