In the Children of the Anthropocene project, we study encounters and situations that matter to children. We are interested in their lives and horizons in the environmental crisis, the feelings and affective forces they find themselves in. Atmosphere is a concept that relates to emotions but approaches them as situated, collective, pre-cognitive and contagious (Anderson & Ash, 2015; Lorimer et al., 2019;  McCormack, 2018; Stewart, 2011).

An atmosphere can be defined as a collective background for situations and places. Phenomena and activities generate atmospheres, but on the other hand, atmospheres also evoke activity and phenomena, such as political movements. We are also interested in shifts and changes in atmospheres. The atmospheres are sometimes fleeting and difficult to grasp, while at times they can be clearly shared experiences. They may strengthen hopelessness in certain compositions, but elsewhere they can channel global societal movements, such as climate activism among young people.

In this study, we think of atmospheres as both an object of observation as well as a method that invites us to engage in the relationship between places, times, and bodies of different kinds. Atmospheric methods can involve attuning to the rhythms, feelings, and those messages that other than human animals are sending. What kind of mood, rhythm, sound, or movement? What kind of intensity? What silences and exclusions, what kind of ghostly presences? Circumstances that are not harmonious but that include ruptures or that are “rubbing” against each other, are of particular importance for critical research.



Anderson, B., & Ash, J. (2015). Atmospheric methods. In P. Vannini (Ed.), Non-representational methodologies: Re-envisioning research. Routledge.

Hohti, R., Rousell, D., MacLure, M., & Chalk, H. L. (2021). Atmospheres of the Anthropocene. Sensing and rerouting dis/inheritances in a university museum with young people. Children’s Geographies, 1–14.

Lorimer, J., Hodgetts, T., & Barua, M. (2019). Animals’ atmospheres. Progress in Human Geography, 43(1), 26–45.

McCormack, D. P. (2018). Atmospheric things: On the allure of elemental envelopment. Duke University Press.

Stewart, K. (2011). Atmospheric attunements. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 29(3), 445–453.