All Museum of the Future Events

“Museums are full of opportunity in the way that they confer legitimacy on certain ways of seeing the world, on certain ways of acting.  They normalize them.  They take on unpopular ideas and make them seem normal.  They take ways of behaving that seem strange, and make them seem like that’s how everyone now behaves.  A museum can be a really powerful point of doing that – that’s the reason that corporations are interested in museums and that’s exactly the same reason that we should be interested in museums if we want to change things.”

Gavin Grindon is a post doctoral researcher at Kingston University and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. His research is located within the history and theory of modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on activist-art and its theoretical contexts. He is currently preparing a monograph on this topic, and has previously published in The Oxford Art Journal, Third Text, Art Monthly, Radical Philosophy and the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. Grindon is a co-curator of the exhibition Disobedient Objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2014. He also organized the conferences The Politics of the Social in Contemporary Art at Tate Modern, 2013; Art…What’s the Use at Whitechapel Gallery, 2011; and Revising /Revisiting the Avant-Garde at Kingston University, 2009.

“The struggle is not only the fight of people like us. The struggle has to take place at every level and in all places. The ideal museum would really speak the truth, educate reality, and support our struggles.”

Patricia Gualinga is a Human Rights and Land Defender from the Kichwa People of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Throughout her life, Patricia has dedicated herself to protecting her community from human rights violations caused primarily by oil exploration and militarization.

In 2012, she was a witness before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a landmark case filed in 2002 on the impacts of oil exploitation on her community, which concluded with the court ruling in favor of the Sarayaku People. In 2019, she received the Outbreak Environmental Activism Award in Spain. In October 2021, she got the ALNOBA Award for courage and leadership in the US, and in December 2021, the Al Moumin Human Rights Award. Recently, she received the 2022 Olof Palme Human Rights Award for her leadership in the fight to improve indigenous people’s living conditions. Currently, she supports and leads the Amazonian Women Collective dedicated to the protection of the environment, indigenous peoples, women’s rights and the land.

“It’s well known that David Koch and his brother have spent tens of millions of dollars on climate science disinformation. For a museum to accept funding from them undermines its educational purpose, causes the museum great harm, and confuses the public, which is the greatest harm of all. The museum of the future, as the museum of the present, has the responsibility to present the best science and to describe efforts that science, especially by vested interests.”

Eric Chivian, a physician, was a professor at Harvard Medical School and the founder and former director of its Center for Health and the Global Environment (now based at the Harvard School of Public Health and called the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment). In 1980, he co-founded the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.

This video documents NHM co-founder Beka Economopoulos’s opening remarks at the Grand Opening of The Natural History Museum at the Queens Museum in September 2014. The museum’s launch was timed to coincide with the People’s Climate March, an historic march through the streets of New York City, with more than 400,000 people calling for climate justice.

We constructed a 1000 square foot tent inspired by infrastructure used in archeology expeditions and mobile disaster response scenarios. Custom-built plinths showcased taxidermic animal specimens, and 14 light boxes featured photographs taken at 5 natural history museums across the Eastern seaboard. The photographs depicted museum visitors engaging with dioramas and nature displays—functioning as a backdrop that reflected an anthropological perspective on museums and their exhibits.