Manchester Museum’s famous dinosaur, Stan the T. rex is going ‘on strike’ in support of the young people taking part in climate strikes around the world since Greta Thunberg started the movement in 2018.
On Friday 20th September, the museum’s T. rex, Stan will be removed from public view and cloaked in black fabric holding a placard with slogans to raise awareness of climate change. This is part of the Art Strike campaign to encourage people to join the thousands that are expected to take to the streets to demand more action from the government on the climate crisis. The placards were created in partnership with Project Inc, an organisation which focuses on engaging young people with additional needs into the arts.
Scientists are predicting global temperatures will rise by more than 2 degrees by 2100, mostly caused by human activity. This is likely to result in frequent extreme weather, sea-level rise, food shortages, mass migration and extinctions. The last time we experienced CO2 this high was when the dinosaurs became extinct. For this reason, Manchester Museum chose to cover Stan the T. rex in support of action on climate change, and hope it will lead to a spate of similar ‘art strikes’ in museums up and down the UK.
Manchester Museum, part of The University of Manchester believes cultural institutions can play a crucial role in engaging and empowering people and communities, both locally and globally, as we face the climate emergency. In July, The University of Manchester joined the Government in its declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ reaffirming its position and commitment to being a world-leader in sustainable development.
The museum’s vision is to build a sustainable world and understanding between cultures. Manchester Museum was part of the campaign to recognise the role of museums in the Paris Agreement of 2015 and in a raft of local and national policies and strategies. In June 2019 the museum supported Extinction Rebellion Manchester and Youth Strike for Climate Manchester to stage a mass ‘die-in’ in it’s Living Worlds Gallery to raise awareness of this critical issue.
David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences said: ‘The Climate Emergency is the biggest threat to our generation and it’s important we are doing our bit to raise awareness and help people take action.’
Esme Ward, Director of Manchester Museum said ‘Manchester Museum promotes freedom of speech and expression, actively encouraging our visitors to respond and contribute to the issues they care about most. Increasingly, we will support and encourage new imaginative thinking and action to tackle the climate emergency and work together build a sustainable world.’