The project rounded out 2021 with a ‘big bang’ in Amsterdam, when work on opium by our Utrecht research team was translated into a unique project in public space: Worlds of Opiates, a pop-up exhibition co-created with artist Corne van der Stelt, Het Uitvindersgilde, and Poppi, a start-up drugs museum and social enterprise. Visitors to the show walk through an immersive field of giant 3D poppy flowers, and discover the many attributes of the most powerful flower known to mankind. Interactive elements tell stories about opium, laudanum, heroin, and painkillers, the same substance in different guises eliciting different societal responses.
This webinar, introduced by Poppi director Machteld Busz, showcases several components of Worlds of Opiates, and includes snapshots of four public lectures looped at the exhibition by Toine Pieters (the present-day opioid crisis), Gemma Blok (the 1970s/80s heroin epidemic), Jim Mills (opium in early modern Scotland), and James Bradford (Afghanistan and opiates). Feel free to leave a response below!