Wednesday 18 May 2022, 5.30-7.00pm

This session explores disaster, resilience and survival in devastated landscapes and the role of speculation and storytelling in the making of new worlds. With Uta Reichardt ad Thomas Pausz:

And the earth shock, and the rocks were split

Resilience research through storytelling: a case study in Japan.
Referred to as acts of God, ‘natural’ disasters shake a community’s world to the core. With god-like force, they pull the physically and social rug from under their feet. In order to find a new balance, survivors need to recentre and reconsider in the changed environment.

In this talk, Dr. Uta Reichardt will talk about her research on resilience and coping after disasters, based on a series of coffeeshop interviews with survivors and volunteers in the aftermath of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsumani in 2011. In those public, yet personal settings, she documented ways in which art & culture helped them and their communities find their stand again after the biggest earthquake ever recorded in Japan.

Making New Land

An essay in biology-fiction by Thomas Pausz set in a near future, where the oceans have disappeared.

In these devastated landscapes, a first-person narrator investigates unsolved biological enigmas on Earth and on Mars. In the footsteps of a fictional group of Anarcho-botanists called Sea for Space, the story alternates a melancholic longing for the beauty of intertidal and coastal lifeforms with futuristic visions of new species engineered by humans as new companions. The scenario explores archetypal figures of plant-human coexistence: from the botanical gaze to a nostalgic longing for connection, and from the hubris of genetical engineering to the dream of a post-humanism communion with the vegetal.