In an attempt to recreate the past we create the illusion that we control our present. And therefor future. Whereas in reality it is a rather dark view of an irrevocably damaged nature born out of a human longing to find meaning with and within the natural world. It is a manmade way of staving off the inevitable loss that we have brought upon ourselves. Of holding onto the past and trying to reconnect to memory. Nowhere is this more poignant than in the museum of Natural History in Aralsk, a former Soviet fishing port in Kazachstan. The poor state of the museum is in a rather odd way a fitting reflection of the ecological disaster that has troubled this region for the past five decades since the Russians decided to divert the water from the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya, the two rivers that fed into the Aral Sea in order to develope the cotton industry in one of the driest regions in the world. And by doing so instigating one of the greatest ecological catastrophes of the 20th century, the drying up of the Aral Sea. Left behind is a vast man-made desert. Due to climate change summers have become much hotter and winters unpredictable. Creating violent dust storms in summer kicking hundreds of tons of salt and sand infused with pesticides from decades of agricultural run-off into the air. Resulting in an increase of lung and throat cancer. And with no reliable protein source in the absence of fish thousands of locals sufferering from anemia. With infant mortality among the highest in the world.