The Baroque Melancholy of Hashima: Post-traumatic landscapes symposium

The Baroque Melancholy of Hashima

This presentation is a joint iteration of our performance project Hashima, begun in 2012, and continuing with AHRC ‘Care for Future’ funding. Combining the work of a performance theorist, geographer, geologist, environmentalist, historian of Japanese culture, and visual artist, the project is based on a series of field trips to Hashima, Japan, a former site of intensive offshore coal-mining and once the most densely populated spot on earth.  It is perhaps best known in the popular imagination as the base of the mysterious, oedipal villain in the recent Bond movie Skyfall. Our field trips allow us to gather materials to be reworked into a number of creative outputs, including postcards, improvisational scores, site-specific performances, soundscape, and installations. Underpinning the project is a collective concern with the future of ruins in a traumatised landscape. More specifically, we want to rethink the meaning of ecological horizons through a non-sentimental encounter with a human and non-human past, present and future. While we do not ignore the specificity of Hashima, we want to draw out its allegorical value as a site of monstrous transformation and futural possibility.

Presenter Biographies:

Professor Deborah Dixon works at the boundary of the arts and sciences, including looking at “monstrous” geography and BioArt, where artists take living tissue as their artistic medium. She teaches in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

Dr Carina Fearnley is a Lecturer in Environmental Hazards at Aberystwyth University and a specialist in Disaster Risk Reduction. She focuses on the role of understanding and communicating uncertainty, risk, and complexity to develop resilience to natural and environmental hazards.

Lee Hassall is a performance artist, course leader in Fine Arts at the University of Worcester and a PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University. His research proposes reclaiming a sense of the visual within the study of landscape and explores and contextualises articulation of the visual in relation to the performative.

Professor Carl Lavery teaches theatre and performance at Aberystwyth University. He has authored several books on space and performance, and is currently involved in a number of AHRC funded projects exploring the relationship between community, ecology and environment.

Dr Mark Pendleton is Lecturer of Japanese Studies at the University of Sheffield. A social and cultural historian, he is interested in how people relate to the past through memory texts, sites and practices. He is currently working on a large-scale research project on modern and industrial ruins in Japan.

To reserve a free place at the symposium (which will take place on May 22nd, 10am-4pm), please visit our eventbrite page.

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