written by Gabriel Lia
“‘Future’ in English, ‘futur’ in French, ‘framtid’ in Norwegian, ‘futur’ and ‘ġejjieni’ in Maltese, yet regardless of your language, the future will still be bleak. Words will be words, letters will be letters standing still, waiting for tomorrow, mysterious, at times unexplainable.”
These spoken words were part of the presentation my group designed for the imagined future of 2050 during the SciCulture intensive course at the University of Bergen, Norway, specifically under the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design.
These memorable five days were aimed at exploring the role of creativity and science in the education system while keeping in mind the Anthropocene age. Transdisciplinary skills and collaboration were at the core of our design thinking process to come up with possible outcomes of a future hit by the ravages of climate change. As students, academics and researchers from institutions around Europe, including the University of Malta, University of Exeter, Technology University Delft and Science View (Greece), we explored the entrepreneurial mindset, the nature of science and empathic creative ways of thinking and doing.
Yet in my view, the most cherished moments were the hands-on workshops during which we incorporated science with education, theatre and embodiment. We also had the opportunity to create clay models and experiment with air brushing for short stop-motion animation we produced in groups. In addition to this, as part of our social events, we had a mountainous adventure to one of Bergen’s most attractive tourist spots, Mount Fløyen <https://www.floyen.no/en>. Enjoying the gorgeous views from the top of the mountain, we engaged in a thought-provoking talk by Mathew Stiller-Reeve, a climate scientist, about pollution in Bergen.
The two art exhibitions that we were invited to visit during our stay were probably the most remarkable instances. Apart from witnessing inspiring pieces of work, we were also able to informally listen to postgraduate fine art students talk about their experiences on living their dream and working as full-time artists—a dream that is hard to achieve here in Malta. This opportunity empowered us to strive to develop our own individual talents, harvest them and then share them within the community. This is what I and the four other participants representing Malta have brought back home with us apart from memories of laughter during the three flights which took us to the freezing, bountiful and gorgeous land of Norway!