Echoes of the Anthropocene: Understanding Our Environmental Legacies Through the Relics of Tomorrow

Join Dr Meg Parsons as she explores the impact of human activity on Aotearoa New Zealand.

TUE 24 SEP, 7PM
TE MATA TAIRONGO AUDITORIUM, LEVEL 2
$20 MUSEUM MEMBERS
$10 EARLYBIRD PRICING (UNTIL TUE 2 JULY 5PM) 

This lecture accompanies the RELICS: A New World Rises exhibition which imagines dystopian futures using LEGO®. It delves into the tangible impacts of human activities on the landscapes and waterscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand, with a particular focus on Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

This talk will explore the radical environmental transformations that occurred during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the often unintended, negative consequences of these changes. Central to this lecture are four Relics from the exhibition, each depicting dystopian scenes of Earth's potential futures, and serving as focal points for examining different aspects of human-induced environmental changes at a local level. Utilising historical images, archival documents, and oral histories, Dr Meg Parsons will explore how Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland was shaped through human interventions, leading to unexpected and potentially dangerous outcomes such as increased flooding, landslides, and pollution.

But this talk also will highlight both existing and potential sustainable practices that can mitigate these impacts, including the deployment of mātauranga Māori into contemporary environmental restoration efforts that aim to build resilient and healthy human and ecological communities. The goal of this lecture is to enhance public understanding of how past and present actions have contributed to ecological crises and to highlight the plethora of ways we can address and avert the dystopian futures portrayed in the RELICS exhibition.

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About Dr Meg Parsons

About Dr Meg Parsons

Dr Meg Parsons (Ngāpuhi/Ngāti Pākehā) is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau. Her research broadly explores the socio-cultural dimensions of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and freshwater degradation. In addition to being the co-Editor-in-Chief of Climate Risk Management, Meg is a prolific author contributing to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

Image: Destroyed forest, north Auckland. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19011226-03-01