Epoch win: RSM opens new gallery

We know what Saskatchewan is like now, but what will anthropologists see when they study us, hundreds or even thousands of years in the future?
The Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s new exhibit, Home: Life in the Anthropocene, looks at that. Glenn Sutter, curator at the RSM, talked about what families will get out if the new exhibit.
“No other museum is trying to do that, so we have a simulated a cut-bank that takes us 2,000 years into the future,” Sutter said. “If you were going to look at what does the start of the anthropocene looks like, well, we’re showing you what it looks like.”
The anthropocene is defined as the most recent time in human history, when humans started to have an impact on the earth.
Looking much like a slice into the ground that many geologists would be familiar with, the cut-bank shows ash from the Mount St, Helens eruption, darker ash from forest fires, plastics and various other items that, in the future, will show how we lived and ate.
Across from that cut-bank are a large group of threatened and extinct animals forever frozen in time.
“A big part of life in the anthropocene is realizing we’ve got a biodiversity crisis,” Sutter said. “There’s good evidence we’re now within the sixth major extinction event the earth has ever faced. So these specimens are not just individual species at risk. They represent a big global issue that is swirling around us, and we all depend on biodiversity.”
Some of the endangered and threatened species, as well as a rotating globe are some of the eye-catching materials shown in the new gallery..
“The youth voice that we can bring to these things is so important,” Sutter said. “If we’re living sustainably, we’re doing that for future generations. There has to be that connection. All of these topics that we are engaging for all ages, and we tried to do that all the way through this.”
The gallery was curated by Sutter and designed by RSM’s John Snell. There are also shown ways people connect with nature with a music exhibit from local songwriters.

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