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Everyday Futures aims to create understanding about what it is like to live in Australia in this time of ecological challenge, and to connect people who are enabling their places to flourish.

Environmental changes

Blue fungi - click to view larger image

The Everyday Futures website is a curated collection of ‘object stories’. In these reflections Australians write about an object that tells their story of the environmental changes reshaping the places they love.

Australia is experiencing an unprecedented period of environmental change, from climate change and biodiversity loss to pollution and urbanisation.

Across the continent, people are seeing and feeling the transformation and loss of loved landscapes. Many are responding by creating new ideas, communities and activities designed to protect and enrich their local environments.

The Everyday Futures website is currently undergoing technical maintenance and will be available again later this month. The following selection of object stories are just a few of the many more that feature on the website.

Object stories

Plastics in the Pacific

Jennifer Lavers tells the story of shearwaters feeding plastic to their chicks on Lord Howe Island.

A pair of hands holding a variety of plastic articles retrieved from the ocean.

Living with the Anthropocene

Love, Loss and Hope in the Face of Environmental Crisis

 - click to view larger image

Edited by Cameron Muir, Kirsten Wehner, Jenny Newell

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Australia — and the world — is changing. On the Great Barrier Reef corals bleach white, across the inland farmers struggle with declining rainfall, birds and insects disappear from our gardens and plastic waste chokes our shores.

The 2019–20 summer saw bushfires ravage the country like never before. Young and old alike are rightly anxious. Human activity is transforming the places we live in and love.

In this extraordinarily powerful and moving book, some of Australia's best-known writers and thinkers — as well as ecologists, walkers, farmers, historians, ornithologists, artists and community activists — come together to reflect on what it is like to be alive during an ecological crisis.

Understanding Australia in the age of humans

Localising the Anthropocene

This Australian Research Council collaborative research project (2017–19) aimed to narrate how human interventions have come to transform Australian environments, and show the history and impact of humans on continental and ocean environments.

By examining the role museums can play in making sense of Australia’s experiences during a period of rapid planetary change, this project moved away from an abstract understanding of these issues, to use objects, performances, stories and art to make real the local dimensions of the idea of the Anthropocene.

A piece of coal with the incribed words 'with thanks for the Warming'.

As part of the project, Museum staff have contributed to the Everyday Futures website, the book Living with the Anthropocene: Love, Loss and Hope in the Face of Environmental Crisis, and supported public programming and events.

This project was funded by an Australian Research Council grant and brought together researchers, curators, and artists from the University of Sydney, Australian National University, University of New South Wales, American Museum of Natural History, University of Leicester, University of Wisconsin and National Museum of Australia. 

Living with the Anthropocene is also supported by the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund.

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