Placing the Anthropocene
Geological epochs are usually found in rock strata, but this new one is all around us and includes the present and the future, at least as constituted by a humanities vision. Svalbard's coal city, Pyramiden is a place shot through with Anthropocene imaginaries. At latitude 78 degrees north, Pyramiden, is born of Swedish mercantile imperialism in 1910, but now an industrial heritage site. It celebrates the industry of several nations, particularly Soviet Russia and its 1930s concept of modernity. Pyramiden is a time capsule where modernity, coal, mercantilism, globalism and strategic territoriality have all found a place just 1000 kilometres from the north pole, as a 'cultural landscape' under Norwegian environmental law.
Libby Robin FAHA is Professor of Environmental History at ANU, Senior Research Fellow at the National Museum of Australia and Guest Professor at the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Stockholm. Current projects include Collecting the future: museums, communities and climate change, The Culture of Weeds and Expertise for the Future. Libby is author of How a Continent Created a Nation (NSW Premier’s Australian History Prize 2007), Flight of the Emu (Victorian Premier's prize for science writing 2003), and co-editor of Boom and Bust: Bird Stories for a Dry Country (Whitley Medal 2009). One recent book is The Future of Nature:Documents of Global Change (Yale UP) (New England Book Prize for Anthologies 2013). She and Iain McCalman edit Routledge Environmental Humanities book series.
Dag Avango is a researcher in the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm.
Please note that this is an audio recording of a play performed by Libby, Dag and other members of the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory