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GLOBAL WE - 19 Portals around the world

“Global We for Climate Action,” to bring the voices of the many into the climate agenda.

The Dharavi Portal, led by Compound 13 Lab, joins the Global We programme by bringing voices from underrepresented communities from Dharavi into global conversations about the impacts of climate change on everyday lives of those living at the frontline of ecological, climatic and human-driven impacts, including contamination of essential resources such as water, food and clean air. 




























In its simplest form, portals are repurposed shipping containers that are equipped with large screens and high-quality audio to create immersive experiences, enabling eye-to-eye, life-size conversations between participants in distant parts of the world, who feel as though they are in the same room.

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Image: Vitra Design Museum

A collaborative event convened by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and V&A Dundee.


Bringing together thinking from our latest exhibition, Plastic: Remaking our World and the Paul Mellon Centre's multi-year project, Climate & Colonialism, this symposium explores the complex past, problematic present and possible futures of plastic.

Following a private viewing of the exhibition, participants will join international researchers, designers, artists, and activists in a series of discussions and presentations exploring the interconnections between plastics, climate, and colonialism.


The symposium will ask:
Where did plastic come from?
How do we understand its colonial histories?
How are art, craft and design practices implicated in these extractive processes, and how do they challenge them?
What is the ongoing impact of climate injustice and the unequal impact of global waste streams on people and the planet?
Is there a future post-plastic?
What role do artists, designers and environmental humanities researchers play in creating such futures?

Synthetic Histories: Plastics, Climate, and Colonialism is convened by Sria Chatterjee, (Paul Mellon Centre); Nichol Keene (V&A Dundee), Charlotte Hale (V&A Dundee), and Laurie Bassam.


Heather Davis, Assistant Professor of Culture and Media, The New School, New York
Nanjala Nyabola, writer, political analyst, and activist.
Max Liboiron, Associate Professor in Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland and founder of CLEAR, an interdisciplinary plastic pollution laboratory (online presentation).
Alia Farid, Kuwaiti-Puerto Rican artist

Alice Mah

Elizabeth Darling (Reader in Architectural History, Oxford Brookes University)

Alexander Davidson (Arts writer and lecturer)

Charlotte Matter (University of Zurich, Institute of Art History)

Hoyee Tse (Royal College of Art)

Amy Woodson-Boulton (Professor of History, Loyola Marymount University)

Compound 13 Lab,  Ben Parry, artist, senior lecturer, Bath Spa University. Graham Jeffery, Professor, University of West of Scotland

Jessica Varner, University of Southern California

Sarah Rose, artist

About the Exhibition

Plastic: Remaking Our World charts the changing fortunes of a material with a history of more than 150 years. The exhibition asks How did we get here?, beginning with the innovation of a material that now has global dominance. It presents the story of plastic from invention to ubiquity, from the history of what was once considered a magical material to the challenge of plastic pollution today as one of the world’s most urgent issues. The exhibition features product design, graphics, architecture and fashion from the collections of the V&A and Vitra Design Museum, as well as collections all over the world. This is the first exhibition co-produced by V&A Dundee, the Vitra Design Museum and maat, Lisbon with curators from V&A London.


About the Climate & Colonialism Research Project

The Climate & Colonialism research project led by Sria Chatterjee at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art works towards new and interdisciplinary understandings of visual and material culture produced around and in response to the interconnected and enduring histories of colonialism, capitalism and climate change. A primary aim of this multi-year project is to provide a testing ground for transhistorical conversations and collaborations between art historians, artists and other scholarly and community groups thinking critically about colonialism and climate change.






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Newhaven Art Projects have commissioned artist Ian Dawson to curate ‘The Waste Makers on Cornucopia Street’ which transforms the Newhaven Art Space venue into an exhibition and workshop environment....

Taking its title from Vance Packard’s pioneering book ‘The Waste Makers’ from the 1960’s, which exposes the demise of the environment through the growth of disposable consumer goods, the exhibition asks us to think about themes around waste and how we might interpret, rework and re-examine them.

How do we arrive at waste? Is it matter out of place? What is the difference between dirt and waste? And what is digital waste? Searching for new perspectives on this subject brings a set of diverse artists together to discuss their work in relation to waste.

The exhibition presents work from North America and India, representing the globalised nature of waste. From the global south, the Compound 13 lab present the work that this experimental art space has made through working with citizens from the informal settlement, Dharavi, the centre of the recycling trade in Mumbai.

From North America, Migueltzinta Solis challenges ideas about how the cornucopia of the West creates both a belonging and un-belonging and how we might repair broken communities that have previously been laid to waste. Each artist represented in the exhibition brings a different and thoughtful response to 'matter out of place'.

Exhibiting artists: John Walter, Donna Mitchell, Jasone Miranda Bilbao, Aqui Thami, Louisa Minkin, Sharmila Samant, Ben Parry, Compound 13 Lab, Migueltzinta Solis, Andrea Mason, Amanda Jobson, Ian Dawson.

We think, at Newhaven Art Projects, that it’s important that this exhibition is here as the Newhaven Energy Recovery Facility dominates our local skyline. Building upon those very same themes that this facility undertakes with everyday materials, the show focuses on restoration and rehabilitation whilst re-iterating the impact of lifestyle and resulting waste on our diverse communities.

Workshops held in the space will involve new technologies such as laser scanning and 3d printing as well as poetry readings


‘The Waste Makers on Cornucopia Street’ runs from 3 – 19 November with a preview evening on Friday 4 November 5.30 – 8 pm.

The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 am – 5 pm. (Closing at 2 pm on 5 November)



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