Check back on this page for updated information on current events and activities related to this exhibit. (Special events will take place at both the NMAI in Washington DC and at the NMAI’s New York City location – the George Gustav Heye Center in Battery Park).

From the NMAI website:

This exhibition—the first of its kind devoted to indigenous science—provides a Native perspective on global climate change. Through photographs, video, and audio of tribal communities from the Arctic to Brazil, the environmental impact of pollution is found in the stories of imposed mitigation and its consequences on local livelihoods.

Conversations with the Earth offers the voices of the Earth's traditional stewards in the search for a viable response to the challenges of climate change. In the words of Inupiat leader Patricia Cochran, chair of the Indigenous Peoples Global summit on Climate Change, "We are a harbinger of what is to come, what the rest of the world can expect."

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Conversations with the Earth: Indigenous Voices on Climate Change

The installation at this world-renowned museum of the indigenous peoples and cultures of the Americas, will mark the US premiere of the major multi-media, museum-quality exhibit of Conversations with the Earth.

CWE will be organizing special symposia, cultural events, video screenings, lectures, curriculum workshops and more throughout the run of the exhibit. Many events will include the participation of members of the indigenous communities from around the world whose first person stories and experience are represented in the CWE exhibit.

Conversation with the Earth artfully blends local knowledge of land and seascapes, media expertise, high-tech tools, and participatory action, to convey intimate stories of climate change. Through good reporting, powerful portraits and interviews, and participatory media, the visitor is immersed in the sounds and the feel of a site and its people, in order to recreate the intimate experiences of listening to a local person. In the process the visitor experiences not only a story about climate change but the means by which the communities tell the story-and indeed the means by which indigenous communities everywhere share knowledge to address problems: conversation.
To recreate the experience of being live and in the field, CWE offers life-sized color portraits, both animated and posed.
Interactive touchscreen and web

The CWE website, which brings the voices, images and stories of indigenous peoples on climate change to the global audience beyond the exhibit, is also accessible at the exhibit. Through a touchscreen, visitors can navigate various indigenous climate-change testimonies around the world, get more in-depth information, access printed articles, and register their own feedback or questions to speakers. The website features an interactive map of the world, which allows the visitor to explore and listen to stories from regional networks near and far.
Talking Portraits and sound
Select photographs allow the narrator to actually talk directly to the visitor via hidden MP3 sound boxes or other devices. The voice, usually field recordings in the original native language, is added either through a loudspeaker near the portrait or a stereo headphones by its side.
Text panels and published work

At the visual heart of the exhibit is a series of photo essays of communities and the issues that affect them. In a photo essay, each photograph offers an informative caption and/or a quote from field recordings, easing the visitor into a deeper understanding of each story displayed. These will be supplemented by informative text panels introducing each of the photo essays separately. In some cases, panels display fuller text or a published article on the story concerned.
Participatory Video Booth
Using a video projector in an alcove with benches, Conversations with the Earth screens a series of films made by indigenous communities about their own experience with climate change, using the participatory video methodology. Cameras in their hands, community members interview their friends and neighbours, men and women, parents and children, youth and elders, to record how climate-change affects their daily lives. The result is a direct testimony, a skillful and custom-crafted narrative, and community-owned media. The 10-minute clips come from the growing Indigenous Media Hubs network that CWE is promoting around the world.