October 27, 2023, Ottawa, ON – Ingenium is thrilled to announce that Oh Crap! Rethinking Human Waste - a thought-provoking exhibition curated and developed by the Musée de la civilisation du Québec is coming to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in spring 2024. Oh Crap! Rethinking Human Waste invites visitors to challenge their preconceptions and discover every facet of one of the world’s most misunderstood, limitless resources – human waste.
Making its bold debut at the Musée de la civilisation du Québec in 2021, the exhibition welcomed huge success and rave reviews from visitors and critics alike, in Québec and beyond. With its unique take on a complex topic, the exhibition went on to win the Excellence Award from the Société des musées du Québec in 2022, which rewards significant contributions to the advancement of Québec museology. The exhibition garnered further acclaim winning a Prix Numix in 2023 for the ‘Cacarcade’, an interactive feature of the exhibition. Presented as its most daring exhibition, it evidently became one of its most popular, drawing in thousands of visitors to reflect on their experiences. In fact, an evaluation conducted both within the exhibition and afterwards revealed that 84% of visitors felt that the exhibition had a positive impact on their perceptions and actions.
With its audacious, fun, and engaging approach to an important topic with global impacts, the exhibition begs the question, “Does human waste have to be wasted?”, and invites museum-goers to gain new insight on the importance of this universal organic matter. Oh Crap! Rethinking Human Waste features five zones organized into educational, immersive and participatory spaces. Both serious and playful, it explores every facet of human waste through the lens of microbiology, anatomy, history, and culture, as well as art, engineering and the environment. How can understanding excrement help the fight against climate change? How is access to toilets one of the most definitive gaps between wealth and poverty, health and illness? Through over 200 artifacts and archival material, compelling images, videos, immersive spaces, and interactives, visitors of all ages will have opportunities to better understand the impact of inequalities in communities across Canada and the world, and the changes they can adopt that can help with waste management.
Through the exhibition, visitors are transported on a journey that will entertain and amuse, all while sparking reflection on significant environmental and social issues we must collectively address in hopes of imagining a more sustainable future for our planet.
The exhibition will be on view at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa from May 2024 to January 2025.
“Oh Crap! Rethinking Human Waste is a fun, informative, and clever exhibition that takes on our collective relationship with human waste through a scientific lens. The Canada Science and Technology Museum celebrates innovation – even in the unlikeliest of places - and we are thrilled to present an exhibition that allows our visitors to uncover the incredible science and innovation around human waste – from critical issues such as sustainability and sanitation, to greenhouse gas emissions and climate solutions. Offering a one-of-the-kind learning opportunity for all ages, we hope museum goers can leave inspired to take action in their own lives.”
“Oh Crap! Rethinking Human Waste surprises, astonishes, amuses and, above all, tackles important social and environmental issues that impacts the future of this planet. And, if ever a topic were truly universal - it's this one! In daring to tackle such a taboo subject head-on – with intelligence and with relevance – we can demonstrate that with a deeper understanding of our world as it is, we can strive to imagine a better future. I'm delighted that new audiences will have the chance to discover this unique experience, and I applaud the Canada Science and Technology Museum for being so forward-thinking."
Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation
About Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation
Ingenium oversees three national museums of science and innovation in Ottawa — the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Its lngenium Centre houses an exceptional collection of artifacts, a research institute, and a digital innovation lab. Our museums, digital content, outreach programs, travelling exhibitions, and collaborative spaces help to educate, entertain, and engage audiences across Canada and around the world. Our mandate is to bring science literacy and inspiration to people in Canada of all ages, abilities, identities, and backgrounds.
About the Musée de la civilisation
The Musée de la civilisation is part of the Quebec and Canadian networks, as well as the international circuit of major museums. Its visitors are invited to discover the history and expression of Quebec culture, as well as that of other societies and ancient civilisations. Keeping windows on the world open is one of the institution's priority objectives. Doing so through dialogue between cultures, while focusing on the Quebec experience, is another key goal that the Musée de la civilisation has set itself over the past 35 years.