A People's Archive of Sinking and Melting


A People's Archive of Sinking and Melting. New Orleans Collection. 9.12/6002-21 Image: Fredrik Nilsen

Contributed by: Pleasur'ne Thomas, Monique Dean, Tyjunaique McKenzie, Wynell Davis, LaShine Dickerson, Milissa Orzolek



A People's Archive of Sinking and Melting (2012+)


The archive is a growing collection of items contributed from places that may disappear owing to the combined physical, political, and economic impacts of climate change, including glacial melting, sea level rise, coastal erosion, and desertification. Through common but differentiated collections, contributed materials form an archive of the future anterior; what will have been. The materials in the archive mark the asymmetry of present or anticipated loss, standing in as proxies for the contributors' recognition of the geopolitical production (or spatial politics) of precarity and slow-onset dispossession. Together, the contributions form one material record among many, a collection of community-gathered evidence, a public record, and a midden.

The archive operates from the principle that any thing is equally valuable as a record of present or projected future disappearance of a place, as chosen by someone there. A contribution doesn't have to originate from that location - it can be anything that happens to be there, including detritus, flotsam or jetsam. As of 2021, the archive contains contributions from locations including Anvers Island (Antarctica), Cape Verde, Greenland, Kivalina (Alaska), Nepal, New Orleans, New York City, Panama, Peru, Senegal, and Tuvalu.

A People's Archive invites contributors to an archive to be comprised of objects sent by people living in places where climate change is implicated in either current or future disappearance. More information about where to send contributions is at www.sinkingandmelting.org



1 CHOOSE an item

Any item is equally valuable as a record of a sinking or melting place, as contributed by someone who lives there. Your contribution can be something natural, manufactured, found, made, or discarded, including trash. It doesn't have to originate from that place–it can be anything that is there. Your contribution will be archived with the information you send about it and the location's UNFCCC Party Grouping (provided). 

2 FILL OUT the contribution form below and email it to: registrar (at) sinkingandmelting.org

Item name:
Contributed by: 
Latitude/Longitude (if available):
Location is Sinking / Melting (choose one):
Date found/contributed:
Notes/further information:
Images (optional/attach any 7MB .jpg or smaller images): 

3 MAIL your contribution (1/2lb. or less) to:

A People's Archive of Sinking and Melting
c/o Balkin
2136 Fell Street, Apt. 301
San Francisco, CA
94117 USA

4 ADD an interview (optional)

Please answer the below if you'd like to provide an interview to accompany the online archive and for possible publication:

Do you live where the object came from? If not, what is your relationship to that place?
What have you seen disappear, or expect to disappear, environmentally or otherwise? What do those disappearances mean? 
What's your relationship to the object(s) you contributed?
Why did you contribute to the archive? What do you hope for your contribution, and the archive generally, to change or draw attention to?



Jelena Adeli, Golnar Adili, Brandon Aguirre, Pedro Muñoz Alvarez, Kristie Anders, Erica Isabel Cerrato Aquedano, School of Plural Futures with ATLAS Arts, AURA lab, Pacita Romero Avila, Luz Baca, Mike & Bernie Bell, Walter Brinkerhoff, Murray Bolesta, Bill Burns, Jose Ramon Castelrau and his grandson, Vreni Michelini Castillo, Vladimir Chuprov, Adriane Colburn, Laura Colomban, Lilian Cooper, Marta Cruz, Kate Davis, Wynell Davis, Monique Dean, Steve Desroches, LaShine Dickerson, Kevin Dunne, Alec Finlay, Clara Forest, Linda Franklin, Froincia Mariel Portillo G., Teodosia De Jesús Aguilar Galea, Rodrigo Garcia, Yoanis Gil, Tara and David Gladden, John Graham, Ole Jørgen Hammeken, Michael Hampton, Moray Heggie-Milne, Tyler Henry, Benjamin Herrera, Sherrill Ingalls, Maila Hung Izquierdo, Pantea Karimi, Sarah Kavanagh, Nandor Kovats, Jesus Landin-Torrez III, Luis Vasquez La Roche, Neri Díaz Leal, Zoë Leonard, Sarah Lewison, Caroline Lipke, Karla Lizardo, Bertrand Lozay, Ali Macdonald, María Auxiliadora Maldonado, Tyjunaique McKenzie, Isabel McLeish, Melissa María Mendez, Alicia Milne, David Moore, Gerd Mörsch, Ranu Mukherjee, Nenesinho, Micaela Neus, Milissa Orzolek, Moiria Elizabeth Paguada, Mr. F. Panisi, Sandhya Parajuli, Peter Peiser,  Elein Ramos Pérez, Sabine Reinecke, Flor de Maria Moncado Reyes, Christina Riley, Clare Robb, Carlos Fernando Rodriguez, Melanie Roumiguière, Digna Migdalia Sánchez, Chiara Sartori and Giuditta, Guadalupe Schneider, Douglas Seaton, Leo Sexer, Christine Shearer, Alette Simmons-Jimenez, Marcel Sparmann, Bill Stephens, Matt Swagler, Steve Sweet, Monika Szilabi, Elizabeth T., Renzo Taddei, Cassie Thornton, Robin Treen, Pleasur'ne Thomas, Caroline Tripet, Evgeniy Usov, Terri Willis, Isabel Martinez Zelaya, and Marco Alonso Zepeda.

CO-REGISTRARS: Amy Balkin, Everett Ó Cillín (2020), Olga Kopenkina (2014-15), Malte Roloff (2012) and Cassie Thornton. Thanks to Rosa McElheny.

CEDEÑO CO-REGISTRARS: Luz De Solzireé Baca Rodriguez, Hernan Alberto Rodriguez, Carlos Fernando Rodriguez, Nixirela Isabel Martinez, Brandon Aguirre, Flor de Maria Moncada, Francia Mariel Portillo Godoy.