Monuments celebrate power, grief, victory. They employ specific visual languages that frame them as such. Some monuments, at least in the US, protect significant lands and mark noteworthy geographic features. They historically tend to feature the human species, first and foremost, and most often avoid sticky subjects and non-dominant histories. And within the world of non-dominant narratives, we consider non-human species significant members and planetary forces worthy of grief and victory.

What and/or how can a Monument to the Anthropocene express the scale of human impact on the natural world and mark this geologic era for generations hundreds or thousands of years in the future—conceptually and/or physically? How might a Monument to the Anthropocene participate In the cultural discourse about the definition, function, and necessity of monuments?

Monuments to the Anthropocene emerged from our obsession with Habitat Compensation Island, an artificial island made from shipping channel dredge, designed as a form of environmental reparation. We soon found that Habitat Compensation Island is not the only artificial island constructed specifically for displaced ecosystems; these physical admissions of negative human impact on the natural world—and acts of repair—seem to us to be one category of monument.

But we imagine there are many more types of monuments—think earth-moving, grand apologies, anthropocentric faux pas, and acts of planetary and scalar derangement.

This project—to crowd-source Monuments to the Anthropocene—is in great part inspired by Bronislaw Szerszynski’s Anthropocene Monument project, initiated with an exhibition at Les Abattoirs Museum of contemporary art in Toulouse in 2014, co-curated by Szerszynski, Bruno Latour, and Olivier Michelon. We are thrilled to be in dialogue with Bronislaw et al. in our efforts to materialize the critical questions embodied in this idea.

How to Contribute

Monument(s) can be invented or real, huge or minuscule, visible or invisible, heard or unheard. Your monument’s representation can take any form: digital, analog, text, image, scent, etc. It can be a found object that currently exists in the landscape, a concept, or a wild speculative idea.

Possible lenses for monument thinking are (but are not limited to): geoengineering, consumerism, infrastructures, extinction, Indigeneity, colonialism, capitalism, globalism, design, entertainment, and/or an existing project (of your own or another) that speaks to this idea.

Your entry will first become part of a publicly accessible online database of proposed monuments, itself a meta-monument. However, our goal is to create a traveling exhibition of the database in years to come. If you enter a monument, you will automatically be placed on a mailing list for occasional and infrequent updates.


  • Participants can submit multiple ideas
  • All submissions that address the scope of the project will be accepted; this is not a competition
  • Each monument should be a separate submission (a set counts as one submission) using this form
  • The monument(s) you identify/imagine/propose can be invented or real
  • Each monument’s representation can assume any form and medium: text, photo, drawing, print, sculpture, rendering, moving image, audio, code, a recipe, etc.
  • Each entry should be in the form of a URL link, available on dropbox, google drive, or Vimeo (can be password protected until its accession in the Monument to the Anthropocene database, where it would need to be public)
  • File size parameters:
    • Writing: 1 - 250 words
    • Images: 2K - 4K
    • Moving image: 2K - 4K, no duration limit
    • Sound: MP3, no duration limit
    • New media/digital/code: must be browser-friendly to most browsers (e.g. Chrome,Firefox, Safari)
  • Timeline: First round submissions will be open until September 21, 2023
  • Funding: If we receive funding to produce this work, all entrants will be fairly compensated. At the moment, this is a love child and made with no financial support.
  • The organizers reserve the right to not include entries that we feel fall outside the scope of the project’s goals (i.e., gratuitous profanity—although we welcome sensible profanity)

Project Background


Monument to the Anthropocene is the expanded realization of our 2019 project Monument to Habitat Compensation Island, which focused on the Emirati artificial island made from shipping channel dredge as a form of environmental reparation. The 2019 project manifested as a website and a slim book in English/Arabic, featuring writings by Abdullah Al Saadi, Munira Al Sayegh, Nils Bubandt, Una Chaudhuri, Elaine Gan, Ayesha Hadhir, and Graham McKay, edited by Carol Stakenas and translated by Ban Kattan. The publication is now available for purchase at Printed Matter.

The book was followed by a panel exploring the forms of Anthropocene multispecies monuments worldwide: "A Monument to All Species", generously supported by NYU Abu Dhabi, featuring presentations from Bronislaw Szerszynski, Samantha Muka, and Una Chaudhuri.


Monument to the Anthropocene BIBLIOGRAPHY


Nancy Nowacek, an American settler, is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. Her work deconstructs and reimagines social forms and social systems..

Marina Zurkow

Media and participatory practice artist Marina Zurkow connects people to entrenched nature-culture tensions and environmental messes, offering humor and new ways of knowing, connecting, and feeling.


For more information about this project or or submission questions: hello [at] monumentstotheanthropocene [dot] com.