Anthropocene and its victims

December 4, 2018Atelier 210 Brussels
Robins choice anthropocene
Doors open: 19:30
Start programme: 20:30
Atelier 210
Chaussée Saint-Pierre 210

In August of 2016, the Working Group on the Anthropocene presented a recommendation to the International Geological Congress that a new geological epoch needs to be declared: the Anthropocene, or the "age of humans". The Holocene has apparently come to an end as humans have become the main forces of transformation of the planet. This might give the impression of a unified humanity, where all humans are agents of change on the planet. The reality is that most humans are actually the victims of the changing planet, especially those being displaced as a result of climate change.

At the same time, as Europe was engulfed in the "refugee crisis", unable to respond in a coordinated and dignified fashion to the plight of thousands of migrants fleeing desperate situations, political leaders and international organizations were pushing for a clear distinction between refugees and migrants. Organizations such as UNHCR or IOM ran op-eds to explain that ‘words did matter’ and that one should not confuse ‘refugees’, fleeing war and persecution, with ‘migrants’, fleeing poverty, hunger or disasters. Governments were keen to assert that refugees had a right to asylum, whereas migrants – especially when posing as refugees – should be sent back to where they came from.

These two events might seem unrelated to each other, yet they have connections that run deep. These connections will be the very subject of this talk.

After the talk we migrate to the bar for cocktails with borderless flavors and NAPSiS takes to the stage. This jazzy trip-hop group will be sure to get you into the right groove. Their melodies and lyrics in both English and French are mixed with trippy electronics and jazz grooves to create a beautiful, groovy and sometimes haunting atmosphere.


François Gemenne

Anthropocene and its victims

Will climate change drive mass migration to Europe? Is it possible to control and manage migration? What’s the best way to address climate-induced migration?

Talk by

François Gemenne

A specialist of environmental geopolitics and migration dynamics, François Gemenne is a FNRS senior research associate at the University of Liège, where he is the Director of the Hugo Observatory. He also serves as co-director of the Observatory on Defence and Climate of the French Ministry of Defence. He lectures on environmental and migration policies in various universities, including the Université libre de Bruxelles, where he holds the Bernheim Chair on Peace and Citizenship.

Francois Gemenne

Music by


NAPSiS is the project of four musicians that have been playing together since they were young. Every musician brings their own influence into the music, resulting in a base of rock, trip-hop and jazz mixed with spacey electronics to create a groovy and warm atmosphere. Their lyrics are written to fit the melodies, sometimes in English and other times in French.