Approximately fifty University of Michigan students and faculty, as well as local residents, laid on the floor at the school’s Museum of Art last week to bring attention to the (dire) consequences of climate change.
Hosted by the UM Museum of Art and Ann Arbor Climate Mobilization, the event had participants “die” for exactly eleven minutes to “highlight the role time plays in the issue.”
According to The Michigan Daily, the die-in coincided with the exhibit “The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene.”
Die-in organizer Morgan Barrie said the eleven minutes corresponds to a recent UN climate report which concludes we have about 11 years to “drastically reduce carbon emissions if we want to avert the worst climate catastrophes.”
Alumna Meg Daupan said she felt “a stronger bond to the earth” by participating in the die-in: “It felt very powerful to feel connected to be aware of what’s happening.”
Following the die-in, a series of speakers from the University and Ann Arbor continued the discussion. Naina Agrawal-Hardin, a 16-year-old student from the Washtenaw International High School, started off the speeches. Hardin spoke of the urgency of the issue, especially for her generation.
“I work about 20 hours a week on fighting climate change,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “I don’t get paid. I write to representatives, I answer questions about getting involved from other teens… For us, this isn’t just a hobby or an extracurricular, this is the fight for our lives. We’re tired of fighting a fight that feels like such an uphill battle. We’re tired of getting people to choose the planet over profit. We’re tired of being told that we’re too young to make change.”
In a “we mean it THIS TIME” moment, environmental activist Matt Grocoff, known for turning the US’s oldest home into a completely energy efficient edifice, told those assembled “While fires burn in the arctic, our governments burn precious time […] our house is on fire, let’s act like it.”