Rising Tide at the Maritime Museum

Rising Tide and The Struggle to the Arctic are both temporary exhibitions at the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum) running until 10th May 2020. Entry to the museum is 16.50 with a discount for buying online or free with a museumcard.

I intended visiting both exhibits but found the Rising Tide so interesting and overwhelming that I had no concentration left for the Arctic. If you want to see both I recommend either the shorter Arctic one first or 2 separate visits.

Rising Tide is a series of films and photos by Kadir van Lohuizen. The artist spoke to both locals ams policy- makers in various locations threatened by rising sea levels. The intention is to illustrate the human cost of rising sea levels around the world and look at some of the plasma and solutions being put in place. The exhibit starts off with photographs taken of various comminities struggling against rising tides. These are interesting but you feel less impact than when watching the movies which covers each destination in more detail.

There are 3 separate film rooms one after each other. To hold your attention the first room illustrates issues in locations where visitors to the museum are likely to have a personal interest. These include The Netherlands, the city of Antwerp and Jakarta in Indonesia. The second room includes films about Bangladesh. Fijiand the UK. In the third room is a long section including cities like New York, Boston and Miami. The US is covered without a single mention of the government’s climate change denial there or President Trump. The films combine developments government or regional policies and reactions in each location with the more personal aspect illustrating for instance how individual families are struggling with the changes already. There are rich Americans saying they will just build a bigger wall to protect their desirable beachfront property alongside poor island-dwelling communities without the resources to either move or reinforce their homes. The movies explain government actions including plans to relocate Jakarta or reinforcing flood defences in Miami. But at the same time they do question uncertainties including whether everyone really can be moved from Jakarta and if the Miami defences will actually work in the long- term.

I was in the exhibition for over an hour but did not watch all of the films to the end. In many of the locations the likely negative outcome for the people and communities living there is far too clear. Everything is very interesting but somewhat overwhelming and not an exhibition you should expect to leave feeling full of joy. Returning via the museum shops they are taking the opportunity to promote children’s books about Greta Thunberg and adult books explaining how to reduce plastic usage.

Aside from the museum there is a lot of interesting information online about how experts and especially the Dutch are addressing the issue of rising sea levels. Some examples follow below.


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