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Carbon Ruins

An exhibition of the fossil era

It is 2053. The Swedish government has just opened its landmark museum FOSSIL with its first exhibition Carbon Ruins. The exhibition and its grand opening is a celebration of the fact that global net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide were reached in 2050. Sweden, in line with its 2017 targets, reached net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases already in 2045, being the first country in the world to step out of the fossil era, which globally lasted between 1849 and 2049.

Två klubbkort för frekventa flygare ligger i en utdragen trälåda. Foto.
Photo: Jessica Bloem/Lund University

‘Carbon Ruins’ aims to transport the visitor into a future where transitions to post-fossil society has already happened. By focusing on recognizable objects the exhibition bridges the gap between the daily lives of humans and the abstract impacts of climate change. The choice of the objects and the associated stories are based on climate models and expertise from the Narrating Climate Futures network. The characters and events which construct the story have been generated through participatory workshops with researchers and practitioners in food, transport, steel, energy, and plastic.

Carbon Ruins has, since its inception in 2019, taken many forms and visited many sites. It currently exists as a mobile exhibition, audio exhibit, educational material for schools, as part of the Human Nature exhibit at the Ethnographic museum in Stockholm, as performance and in a Scottish version displayed during COP26. Read more about the different varieties of Carbon Ruins below.

Contact us

Johannes Stripple
johannes [dot] stripple [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se

Ludwig Bengtsson Sonesson
ludwig [dot] bengtsson_sonesson [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se

Alexandra Nikoleris
alexandra [dot] nikoleris [at] miljo [dot] lth [dot] se

Roger Hildingsson
roger [dot] hildingsson [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se