Convened by scholars from the University of Westminster and the Smithsonian Institution, this panel considers the role that cultural heritage institutions play in revealing and resisting past, present, and future forms of environmental racism.
Kathryn Yusoff traces the origins of the Anthropocene to slave economies that fuelled European imperialism and American expansion to argue that the concept of the Anthropocene conceals a long history of colonialism and racialized violence. Similarly, today's economic environment of industrial expansion through carbon economies disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. Yet, the nexus between industrialization, race, environmentalism, and social and economic justice remain under-discussed issues. There are many reasons for this. Low-income communities and communities of color, for example, often lack access to the social capital, political networks, and economic resources needed to make the impact of environmental injustice in their lives visible. Forging a dialogue between curatorial and academic specialists from the United Kingdom and the United States, this panel facilitates a discussion on the role that cultural heritage institutions might play in revealing and resisting past, present, and future forms of environmental racism.