The Anthropocene Project: Insights from our MA Grad Students

The Anthropocene Project

This 2018 Fall term, our graduate students within our MA Collaborative Specialization Program (Development, Policy and Power) had the opportunity to visit the Anthropocene exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Anthropocene dramatically illustrates how we, individually and collectively, are leaving a human signature on our world.

World-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky and multiple award-winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier have created a powerful series of new photographs, including large-scale murals augmented by film extensions, film installations and augmented reality (AR) installations, that take us to places we are deeply connected to – but normally never see.

The exhibition is a component of The Anthropocene Project, a multidisciplinary initiative from the award-winning trio of photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. 

The Project’s starting point is research from the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG), an international group of scientists advocating to officially change the name of our present geological epoch, Holocene, to Anthropocene, in recognition of the changes humans have made to the Earth’s systems. The AWG’s research categories, such as anthroturbation, species extinction, technofossils, and terraforming, are represented and explored in various media as evidence of our species’ permanent planetary impact.

For more information on the exhibit, please click here

Three of our students have shared some of their insightful views on the exhibit, which provide a engaging critique as part of their IDS100Y1 course. Please see below for their critiques:

Provocation and Politics in Anthropocene by Emily Posteraro

Anthropocene critique by Shewit Rezene

Anthropocene critique by Juan Manuel Velez