The present is woven with multiple pasts.
As a child I lived in several big cities abroad and I remember a feeling of estrangement when
visiting my native Norway. Used to a life in an urban environment, the untouched nature felt
both frightening and enticing, familiar but strange. Freud described this feeling with the term
“das unheimliche”; – a feeling that something once known and safe, feels uncanny, strange and
eerie. A feeling echoed by the prospects the world faces today. While working on this project I
came to realize that as a mother, nature had taken on a new meaning. It emerged as a symbol of
the fears I have for the future of our next generation and the planet we are leaving them.
Our children’s relationship with their natural surroundings is one different from the generations
before them. They are growing up in a world of mass extinction and rising sea-levels, a world in
which harmony with nature has long been foreclosed. The future generations will confront a
range of outcomes whose limits are determined by the choices we make today.
This past year we have seen school strikes in 129 countries. Our young are asking us to take
responsibility. Challenging us to act before it is too late. Their cries are cries of warning. As a
mother my instinct is to comfort them and tell them that everything will be ok.