Communicating Climate Change: Reactions to Adapt and Survive Exhibition and Visitors’ Thoughts About Climate Change in the Pacific Islands Region

  • Sarah L. HemstockEmail author
  • Stuart Capstick
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


This paper examines the content and responses to an art installation addressing climate change in the Pacific, collected at the Adapt and Survive exhibition held at the University of the South Pacific Oceania Centre Gallery in 2014. The artist statement on the exhibition emphasised that it sought to explore the causes and effects of climate change, and to raise awareness of its wider impacts for cultural loss and societal change. As well as conducting a series of interviews with the artist, visitors to the exhibition were invited to complete a short survey concerning their thoughts about climate change and reactions to the exhibition, both before and after they viewed the artworks. The artist’s perspectives emphasised the significance of climate change for the region, in the context of traditional responses to environmental problems. The audience survey results suggest that there were high levels of agreement among visitors that the place where they live is being affected by climate change. While emphasising both negative and positive emotional reactions to the artworks, people for the most part expressed confidence and hope that climate change can be effectively addressed, although there was uncertainty on whether or not Pacific islands had the resources to do so. Our study is limited by the small sample size available, but points to directions for future research in this under-developed field.


Communication Climate change Visual arts Exhibition audience Pacific islands 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geography, School of HumanitiesBishop Grosseteste UniversityLincolnUK
  2. 2.Low-Carbon Lifestyles and Behavioural Spillover Project (CASPI), School of Psychology and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change ResearchCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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