Exhibition launch: Future Archaeologies of Marine Litter

Published: 25 May 2023

How will future generations interpret the present from the waste we leave behind? Join us to reimagine our trash as archaeological treasure.

Date: Monday 19th June, 2023 **in person**

Time: 4 - 6pm 

Location: Seminar Suite A and B, Advanced Research Centre

Register here

Scotland’s western and island coasts are the daily recipients of rubbish, often carried long distances by ocean currents and winds. Large amounts of litter – much of it plastic – build up on remote shorelines, entangled in marram grass or accumulating in geos and gullies. In these places, it is easy to see that we are in the process of laying down a boundary layer of plastic waste, buried in our sands like the stones of Skara Brae, waiting to be excavated by the archaeologists of the future.

Come and join us for the launch of an exhibition that imagines different ways those archaeologists and historians might interpret their finds. See extracts from four exhibitions: The Eigg Hoard, Life on the Abyss, Survivors from the Synthetic Age and Plastlantis! and start to imagine your own future archaeologies of waste. Refreshments will be served.

The Future Archaeologies of Waste project uses community-engaged, participatory speculative fiction to explore the ways future generations might interpret the present based on the waste we leave in the landscape. The objects in this exhibition were picked up during beach cleans on the islands of Eigg, Bute, Islay and Orkney. The stories that accompany them were co-created with local participants.

This exhibition and event have been made possible through the practical and creative support of the Scottish Islands Federation Marine Litter Working Group, the Solway Firth Partnership, Beachwatch Bute, the Isle of Eigg, Greener Orkney, the Islay Development Initiative and students from Dumfries and Galloway College. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Leverhulme Trust and the University of Glasgow's NERC Interdisciplinary fund.

First published: 25 May 2023

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