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  • kimrobertsonw8

The Writing on the Wall, Project Space, NYUAD Oct/Nov 2023

The following is a record of the comments and responses to the climate crisis, left by the community at NYUAD over the period of the exhibition, Present and Future Archaeology. I was curious to see what interest there was on this topic from within the University community. As yet I am unsure of the relevance of the contributions but perhaps it is just a recording of a moment in time for now.


I feel that maybe my card could have asked for commitments to change, or something more specific that could be more dynamic at inciting an energetic response to this call. This also opens up the question of how we empower the public to make a change.

Breakdown of comments:

9 prompt cards (written by myself)

46 climate crisis related comments

23 non-climate related comments

21 tags

8 in arabic

3 in European languages (2 Spanish, 1 unknown)

8 in Chinese

1 in Korean

23 ‘Free Palestine’

3 in hindi


One of my students has kindly helped me with the translations of the Chinese cards:

Number 1 says: the relationship between China and America is the most important relationship - PRC president Xi

Number 2 says: the green river and mountains is golden and silver mountains (direct translation) I’m guessing it is celebrating nature and saying that it is worth more than money.

Number 3 says: if we have to sacrifice the GDP of Hebei to protect the blue sky of Beijing, then we shall! 

Number 4 says: good bye! Prime minister!

Number 5 is in Korean.

Number 6 says: celebrate the come together of world’s residences! 

Number 7 says: county’s wealth, democracy, civilization, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, nomocracy, patriarchy, hard working, honesty, kindness,

Number 8 says: realizing carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals

Number 9 says: Chang River and Yellow river does not flow backwards! -li ke qiang (PRC old prime minister)

I also noted that on dismantling the exhibition, in the canteen (100 metres away from the exhibiton space), there was a ‘No Waste November’ campaign underway. Installed at the entrance to the canteen was a board for comments to be left by the community. I couldn’t help but notice that the vast majority of the messages were in English. Why at the Project Space, less than 100 metres away, were community writing in their mother tongue? Was it the subject matter? Was it a more private space where they felt they could be more true to themselves. Just an observation.



The 'Writing on the Wall' cards are now held in the NYUAD archives.

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