letters from 2050

Letters from 2050 is a collection of fictional human stories in the backdrop of a changed world in 2050.  I have crafted 28 short stories written in a letter format by a fictional character living at a different part of the world in the year 2050.
The project’s initial departure of being an exhibition defined the format of the stories as short texts that can be read while standing. The letters could be read on spot, taken away and/or shared with the other visitors. The visitors were also invited to participate by writing their stories and how this could change towards 2050. This participation inspired new stories and those were exhibited in the new locations of the traveling exhibition.

The project has been developed with Urban Futures Studio of Utrecht University as part of Post-Fossil city exhibition and since then exhibited at various events in Utrecht, Den Haag, Amsterdam, Gent and Dublin.

“I knew a guy, he was extracting coal illegally and selling it to Egyptians. He said I could help and that’s how I started.”
Excerpt from the letter of a Sudanese man explaining how he started illegal coal mining in 2050

“The jade ran out more than a decade ago. Since then, we are surrounded by emptiness.
There is no jade, no Chinese, no dreams. The mountains vanished over time, and the youth has migrated to far lands.”

Excerpt from the letter of an old miner in Myanmar, describing the environmental and societal degradation that took place in his surrounding through mining.
Amsterdam / ACT. Festival

An annual event organized by ASN Bank, ACT. is a day for sustainable tomorrow. Letters from 2050 was invited to be a part of it.  A long and silent table of letters was what we imagined; a surface on which the envelopes are laid, waiting to be picked up. The stories were read by hundred of people within hours.
Ghent / Digipolis

In an effort to make Ghent a climate-friendly city, Ghent city council has been actively working with various parties and as part of that agenda and Letters from 2050 as part of the Post-Fossil City exhibition took part in the exhibition introducing human stories to the experience.
Den Haag / Post-Fossil City Exhibition

In the city hall building of Den Haag, Post-Fossil City exhibition took place introducing art and design projects about a post-fossil future to the people from the city. Letters from 2050 installation was a curved wall upon which letters were exhibited to be picked up and read by passers-by.


In Collaboration with
Esther Estevez

Exhibition Design
Studio Lonk

in Utrecht and Den Haag: Maarten Nauw
in Gent: Raf Gorissen

Rik Mertens

Post Fossil City Exhibition Curators


With special thanks toUrban Futures Studio, Utrecht University
Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat, gemeente Utrecht, gemeente Den Haag.