Initiated by Humber Galleries in partnership with the Humber Office of Sustainability, Humberthropocene (a play on the term "Anthropocene") is a mural assemblage led by Toronto-based environmental artist Anya Mielniczek and co-created by Humber College community members. It was made by painting on top of discarded campus waste collaged onto circular panels. The circles represent the planet Earth and our circles of life while the attached Humber garbage encourages us to reflect on how pollution now infiltrates all locations and levels of life from the local to the global. The dominant use of red recalls heat and the urgent climate crisis facing our planet.
In preparation for this project, Humber Galleries and the Office of Sustainability solicited students, staff and faculty to collect trash produced by our campus activities. We faced a surprising realization: It was a challenge for individuals to modify their waste disposal practices, even with this project as an incentive. How can we do better?
The Humber College 2019-2024 Sustainability Plan outlines a bold approach to reimagine our future and to shape healthy, inclusive and sustainable communities. It states, "We all have a shared responsibility to own and reflect our values in our actions. It is through culture change, leadership and collaboration that we will create positive change for our communities and environment." This plan challenges our communities to use systems thinking and to value the interconnectedness of all when making decisions.
Thank you to Humber Office of Sustainability, Best Service Pros and all members of our Humber College Community who assisted in the collection of trash for this mural and the physical creation of it. We encourage anyone viewing this work of art to consider where your trash ends up and how you can slow the effects of the climate crisis by reducing the waste you produce and choosing sustainable practices, big or small, in your everyday life.