Climate Migration, Anthropology, Human Rights

Climate Migrations

upcoming exhibit across multiple sites:
at the Museum, POST Houston, and Rice Solar Studios

September 28, 2023 - April 26, 2024

at POST Houston, X-Atrium
open Wed - Sun
11:00 am - 6:00 pm

at the museum's Second Ward location, 3308 Garrow St.
open for special events and by appointment

upcoming at Rice Solar Studios
February, 2024

Artists and Contributors: Mashal Awais, Zain Awais, Lina Dib, Valentina Jager, Naomi Kuo, Julia Barbosa Landois, Cin-Ty Lee, Matt Manalo, Reynier Leyva Novo, Henry G. Sanchez, Saúl Hernandez Vargas

co-organized with Erika Mei Chua Holum, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Assistant Curator at the Blaffer Art Museum

HCJM Contributors: Aaron Ambroso, Tiffany Jin, Ayra Matondang, Hadley Medlock, Skyler Smith

John Doe

Aug 17

Climate Migrations is a public art and public history project designed around the subject of climate change fueled migration, designed to connect artists, scholars, activists, and communities to explore/interrogate/imagine/expose the connection between climate change and displacement, travel, and making new homes.

The rotating and multi-site exhibit will look at the intersections of ecological disaster and migration in both the human and more-than-human worlds. It asks: what kinds of relationships and coordinations, temporal and otherwise, are disrupted in climate migrations? What are those projects that create displacement and, conversely, what kinds of new landscape relations are formed through displaced groups in new homes? What kinds of interdisciplinary experience and skills can help tell the stories of climate migration, like that of Gulf Coast mangrove forests moving north? As the climate crisis accelerates, climate shocks and cascading changes trigger the unprecedented displacement of human and more-than-human populations. Commonly used figures predict 200 million climate refugees by mid-century, approximately ten times the number of people displaced by environmental disaster per year currently. As countries throughout the world grapple with migratory crises today, skepticism around their ability to equitably mitigate the expected change in the future permeates. 

Climate Migration also seeks to explore these processes of displacement and travel within Houston. As a site of dense historic and contemporary migration and exchange, what do climate migrations look like in Houston? Can dominant visions, stories, and histories of Houston be remade through stories of migration and transition? Houston has long been a center of transition; its edges, spaces, patches, and people have shifted and continue to shift. The context of climate migration begs the question: Is Houston a city in Texas, or something else entirely? We imagine it as a convergence zone with a tangled and frayed history; a confluence of colonization, land rights, war, water, ecological precarity, histories of museums, state policy, and fossil capitalism.

Artists and Contributors: Mashal Awais, Zain Awais, Lina Dib, Valentina Jager, Naomi Kuo, Julia Barbosa Landois, Cin-Ty Lee, Matt Manalo, Reynier Leyva Novo, Henry G. Sanchez, Saúl Hernandez Vargas

Co-organized with Erika Mei Chua Holum, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Assistant Curator at the Blaffer Art Museum.

Exhibit Hours at POST Houston

401 Franklin St., X-Atrium gallery

parking information

Mon: Closed

Tue: Closed

Wed: 11:00 am-9:00 pm

Thu: 11:00 am-6:00 pm

Fri: 11:00 am-6:00 pm

Sat: 11:00 am-6:00 pm

Sun: 11:00 am-4:00 pm

Sunset Road installation by Reynier Leyva Novo at the museum's Second Ward location

3308 Garrow St. open by appointment

Support for this exhibit has been made possible in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Additional support from The Hive Fund for Climate & Gender Justice and from Rice University Center for Environmental Studies.


Installation view of the exhibit ‘and what was the desert like?’
Photograph by Jasmine Cogan
A fossilized oyster, brought by Will Godwin, Sam Houston State University Collections. “Brought a gift to Aaron A. Cretaceous oyster Exogyra ponderosa. From Texas: Lamar Co Highway 19 x N. Sulphur RW. Approximately 100 Million years old.”
A small black velvet purse with a sequin red rose, brought by Chanté Davis. Chanté wrote: “This purse has survived Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey. The rose emblem on the front signifies the growth under chaotic circumstances.”
A comic written and illustrated by Felipe Sanchez, an organizer with Sunrise Houston. Felipe writes, “There are studies that show how microplastics are disrupting bodily functions in humans and animals. I made a comic to make the topic more approachable and help people come to terms with the reality we live in”
Brought by Tiffany Jin. She writes: “Burst pipes removed after winter storm Uri.”
Brought by Aaron Ambroso, a small piece of white asbestos. “This is a piece of asbestos (white) in chrysotile form. Asbestos was once considered a miracle material - it is incredibly strong, but flexible. It’s fire resistant, and a great insulator; it was used to make blankets and insulate international shipping containers. The discovery that asbestos causes a form of cancer, mesothelioma, was an unintended consequence of industrial production. Downplayed and fought by companies for years, asbestos is now highly regulated but not completely banned.”
Item from Isaac Phillips." The Best of Mississippi John Hurt. Vinyl damaged during Hurricane Gustav in Baton Rouge, LA. Part of collection of southern folk/rock/blues albums damaged by flooding in a home during the storm."