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cover image showing blogger standing next to dippy and superimposed text which says Dippy About Nature

A guest post by Izzy McLeod

I've been a lifelong fan of dinosaurs, as a toddler I'd request a whole dinosaur book be read to me every night before bed.  So I was pretty sad when The Natural History Museum in London said goodbye to Dippy the Diplodocus in exchange for a whale (whales are cool, but they're not quite dinosaurs). But soon the news that Dippy was on tour was out and he was coming to Cardiff just as I was also returning, I had to go and see him, and a few weeks ago I did!

So I was already at National Museum Cardiff, Dippy was there, life was good. But then I found the Dippy About Nature exhibition which mixed dinosaurs with climate activism. It was like two of my favourite worlds had collided in the best way. So I am here to introduce you to that exhibition and why it was so amazing!

two photos die by side. On the left is a picture looking down on Dippy from the balcony above its tail. On the right is a photo of a green banner advertising the exhibition

With prehistoric displays made of recycled clothing, it was like someone had taken interests out of my brain and slapped them together into an excellent exhibition. Plus there was information on how to ditch fast fashion and cut carbon emissions.

I'm well aware this exhibition was not made for me, but it really felt like it was. I don't think I've seen anything more me in my life. Dinosaurs and activism? Yes please!

There were several displays of different aspects of the era of dinosaurs, all made from recycled clothing and depicting scenes like the K-T mass extinction, and watery scenes with facts about ocean pollution from the fashion industry and it just worked so well!

Three photographs fro the Dippy About Nature exhibition. All three are dioramas made from recycled clothing. On the left is a tree, in the middle a meteorite impact and on the right baby dinosaurs hatching from eggs.

Two photos of the Dippy About Nature exhibiton. Once show the blogger looking at a diorama of trees and a waterfall, and the other a close up of the

A photo fro the Dippy Abuot Nature Exhibition. It shows a quiz game in which visitors push down a wooden door to reveal answers.

There was also more of a kids' section with drawing activities and an interactive learning section.

Asking questions like:

What percentage of global carbon emissions come from the fashion industry?

How can we change our fashion habits?

What changes can we make in our diet to reduce carbon emissions?

How much rubbish to we produce in the UK each year?

What else can we do?

With pictures of dinosaurs recycling! I am a fan.

Three pictures of the Dippy About Nature exhibition. On the left and right are protest banners made by the youth forum, and in the middle are framed posters designed by Extinction Rebellion

A photo of a display i the Dippy About nature exhibition. It shows a a model skeleton of a stegosaurus made from pieces of white clothing stuck to a large brown board.

Though this exhibition is small, it makes an impact, and I think it does a really good job of getting involved and interacting with fashion and climate activism whilst also keeping it involved and relevant to the rest of the museum (plus it was kid friendly).

I'm also happy to say that now this exhibition has ended, the activism continues in the museum, as National Museum Cardiff have now set aside a space in the museum specifically for activism, which I think is an amazing idea. It's a part of the Kick the Dust project and if you're a youth then you can get involved with the museum's Youth Forum and have a say about what they put on there (which I may well join!).

This was quite a quick rave review, but yes, this is activist exhibitions done right, in my opinion. Have you been to the exhibition? Let me know what you think! Any other activist exhibitions you recommend?

Find more of Izzy's writing at The Quirky Environmentalist.

Liam Doyle

Dippy: Volunteer and Activities Officer

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