This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Wednesday 15 May 2024, 6.30pm to 8pm
  • Location: In-person only
    ENV/005, Environment Building, Campus West, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to staff, students (postgraduate researchers only), the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

The world is rapidly transforming. Many of the challenges facing people and our planet – from biodiversity loss, climate change, poverty, human health, and rising inequalities, as well as technological advances such as AI – are the product of how our society has come to be organized. But the pace and scale of change means that very little will be able to stay the same. For good or bad, we are at the end of the world as we know it.

Death of a Mountain by Norwegian artist Christian Houge

It is not clear that humanity will be able to transcend these challenges. Many are now struggling to make sense of the enormity of the change and struggle to understand how to respond and the future is no longer experienced in the present in a way that it once did. The change is raising new anxieties and questions. What should I be doing at the end of the world as we know it? How do I need to think differently? Who should I be? Where can I find hope? Whom do I serve, and how can I best do so, in this era of massive change?

Burning taxidermied animals shot against a background of traditional Victorian wallpaper

This immersive event – a collaboration between the transformative artist, Christian Houge, and the transformations scholar, Professor Ioan Fazey – will provide participants an opportunity to explore such questions. Houge’s artwork evokes possibilities for a deeper engagement with our senses in terms of how we individually and collectively experience the changing world. It provides the participant - who is courageous enough to engage with the art - opportunities to delve into what they really feel and to draw out aspects of themselves usually unspoken. Doing so is critical for a re-awakening from the trauma people face as the old world begins to dissipate and before the new has yet to emerge. We therefore need to come back to our senses - literally and figuratively – to bring our whole selves into the room, develop futures consciousness, and bring about more regenerative and positive ways of living.

Image showing inside and outside of seedbank

Join us in a journey of deep exploration of Christian’s evocative art, engage deeply with your senses, and begin to explore how you, personally and collectively, can play a more direct role in tackling the challenges facing people and our planet.

Places are limited so sign up early!

Related Events

This event is being run in conjunction with a solo exhibition of the ‘Death Of A Mountain’ photography series (2016-2023), at the Bermondsey Project Space, London, examining our relationship to Nature and the environmental challenges we are facing, inviting new questions in the Anthropocene. Along with an Artist Talk and a private viewing event hosted by the Norweigian Embassy.

Christian Houge: Death of a Mountain (2016-2020) Exhibition, London, 14-19 May

Christian Houge: Death of a Mountain - Private View -14 May

About the speakers

Christian Houge

Based in Oslo, Norway, Christian has been making photographs for twenty -five years, and new insights continue to open. His work and his attention in life has been to explore Humankind`s condition and the complicated relationship between Humankind and Nature. By exploring this relation, Christian invites the viewers to ask new questions in the new era we are currently in; the Anthropocene. He often likes to juxtapose the visually aesthetic with an underlying sense of unease, as this often emanates a cognitive dissonance in the viewer to invite deeper truths and personal references. Christian has produced many exhibitions in influential galleries in many different countries. These include ‘Vanitas’, Shadow Within, Paradise Lost, Darkness Burns Bright, and Residence of Impermanence. You can learn more about his work at Christian Houge's website.

Read 'The Need for images that can change us: an account of Christian Houge's images', in Harvest Magazine, to learn more about Christian's work.

Ioan Fazey

Ioan Fazey is Professor of the Social Dimensions of Environment and Change and Director of Strategy for the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, UK. His research, teaching and facilitation focuses on helping individuals, businesses, organisations and society develop understanding of, and capacity for, supporting transformations to new kinds of regenerative futures. Ioan has over 80 research publications in resilience, transformation, and change and in how our ways of knowing and the systems supporting them – such as universities and research institutes – need to change if they are to support societal transformation. He is also a teacher of shamanic practice, helping people work with 'inner’ transformations needed for 'outer' transformations to occur and to encourage a alignment between sense of purpose, ways of thinking and actions to what the world now needs.


Norwegian Embassy FixOurFood York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI)

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop