Plastic in sight!

The floating island on the Pacific.

Logo of the cycle "Let's Turn Around the World" (2019) by Laura LimónOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

At the National Museum of Anthropology we are repeating the journey of Magellan during the V Centenary of the First Round the World (2019-2022), stopping to know what the current situation is in some of the territories (and seas) around the that the expedition passed.

What would Magellan and Elcano have thought if floating plastic islands had been found in the ocean on their first circumnavigation?

Within the cycle "Let's go around the world", in its third stop, we present an interactive installation to make visible the environmental catastrophe caused by the millions of tons of plastics and microplastics that reach the seas and the currents drag various areas of the planet. These microplastics endanger the survival of many aquatic species, deteriorate marine ecosystems and enter the human food chain.

Plastic in sight! The floating island on the Pacific (2021) by Marqués de CubasOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Plastic in sight

Through an interactive installation in the central hall of the MNA, we invite you to reflect on the consumption of plastics in the world and the waste they generate.

Plastic waste on the Cádiz beach (2021)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Plastic waste on a beach in Cádiz

But we don't have to go that far to see this phenomenon. In Spain, we only recycle 30% of the plastics we consume. The rest reaches landfills, river basins and the sea without separating, sometimes as micro and nanoplastics that aquatic fauna ingests.

A trash fish (2021) by Victor CalvoOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Let no other fish eat plastics!

Inspired by the initiative of some coastal towns, we have placed this bin, the work of Víctor Calvo, at the entrance of the museum to draw your attention to this serious problem. Protect the environment, reduce the consumption of plastic, and, if you consume it, recycle it.

Quadro de Historia Natural, Civil y Geográfica del Reyno del Perú (1799) by José Ignacio de Lequanda and Louis ThiébautMuseo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, MNCN - CSIC

The oceans of the past....

At the end of the 18th century, Manuel Godoy, Prime Minister of Carlos IV, commissioned a painting that showed he Viceroyalty of Peru natural wealths.

The result was this work from 1799 by the painter Louis Thiébaut and the writer and economist José Ignacio de Lecuanda. It is located in Madrid’s National Museum of Natural Sciences.

Mural (2021) by Visitantes del museoOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

...and of the future

At the National Museum of  Anthropology we set out to complete this mural and collectively recreate this painting that takes us to a Pacific Ocean without plastic islands, just as we want all seas to be again. An installation that has grown thanks to the museum's public.

Message in a bottle (2021) by Visitantes del museoOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Message for change: Our last bottles!!

We also invited visitors to write messages with their sustainability initiatives and put them in plastic bottles with the intention that these would be the last ones we use.

Plastic Lesson (2021) by Fernando SaezOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

A Plastic lesson.

After schematically showing the evolution of plastic consumption, we suggest sustainable alternatives that, by enhancing its use, could be the solution to this problem.

Giardino (2021) by Sandra SanmamedOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Convert the plastic waste in a garden

Residualism is a contemporary movement that defends artistic creation from waste. Sandra Sanmamed has lent us this “giardino” to serve as an inspiration to the volunteer weavers who have passed through the museum.

The gesture (2021) by Escuela Xpresion Dance Satudio ; Mária GonzálezOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

The gesture

The young people of the Xpresion Dance Studio School, under the baton of Mária González, try to teach us that another way of living is possible, more sustainable and in harmony with nature. Reduce, reuse and recycle. "The gesture" can change everything.

Logo of the cycle "Let's Turn Around the World" (2019) by Laura LimónOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Do you want to know the other stops of the cycle?

The Let's turn around the world cycle is made up of the following exhibitions:

1. Rio somos nós!
2. Strait of Magellan: The Water Border
3. Plastic in sight!

BIBA CHAMORU: Culture and identity in Mariana Islands
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