A still from the We Are History short film. 2 images are placed side by side, overlaying an image of a green plant. 1 shows a group of Black men working hard labour. 2 shows a city with countless highrise buildings and no greenery.

We Are History: A Video Essay

25 Nov 2021

Reflect on the interrelationship and mutual influence of humans and the planet in this new film, exploring today’s climate crisis and legacies of colonialism.

What does it mean to speak about global warming from a position of privilege, living in the over-developed world?  What humans are we talking about when we talk about something like the Anthropocene?

This film, commissioned in response to our current exhibition We Are History: Race, Colonialism and Climate Change, features contributions from artists Louis Henderson, Carolina Caycedo, Mazenett Quiroga and Malala Andrialavidrazana.

Collectively, these contributors are looking to expand the common narrative around climate change, a subject which is often linked to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the West.

The exhibition itself invites visitors to look further back in time, exploring significant periods of change such as the 18th century colonial era, which saw plantation agriculture and the forced mass migration of people through slavery reshaping lives and landscapes on a global scale.


Commissioned in response to We Are History, an exhibition at Somerset House, 2021. Curated by Ekow Eshun.

Film produced by Rob Akin
Produced as part of the Creators in Residence programme, supported by Rothschild Foundation.
Featuring extracts from interviews with artists:
Louis Henderson
Malala Andrialavidrazana
Carolina Caycedo
Mazenett Quiroga

Music: The Ground Before Him - Drowning by Numbers