Hosted by the Nuclear Culture Research Group, Critical Ecologies Research Stream &
Mountain of Art Research (MARs)
Image: Kerri Meehan and Alex Ressel, Ranger Uranium Mine, Mirarr Country, Kakadu National Park, Australia 2019
The development of nuclear technology has always relied on colonial practices of resource extraction, atomic testing on indigenous lands, exporting nuclear installations, deployment of nuclear weapons and radioactive waste storage. Many communities are already living through the slow violence of atomic tests, radioactive accidents and contaminated landscapes. Nuclear technology is at the heart of the military industrial complex, often outside democratic decision-making processes, yet it is often neglected in contemporary discourses around decoloniality, climate crisis and the Anthropocene.
This year the Nuclear Culture Research Group is considering what it means to decolonise our creative and academic research practices within nuclear culture. In an academic context this starts with tracing our own stories, expanding our networks and literature, working with and alongside communities, and leads to rethinking forms of knowledge and creative practices from completely new, or perhaps very old, perspectives. However, nuclear decoloniality starts with an attempt to re-couple the nuclear with colonial histories that have been neglected in order to isolate research into discreet work-packages for spurious reasons of security or in-depth scientific research. The workshop invites scholars of nuclear culture and artist-researchers to share knowledge, ideas and practices, to widen the scope, to extend and examine our nuclear languages and create a space for people working closely with different kinds of nuclear decoloniality from around the world. This event is a small first step on a long journey to find ways to work together.
The 2-day workshop will include artists and scholars investigating contemporary questions of nuclear decolonisation in Australia, Greenland, Lithuania and India. With film screenings and round table discussions. Participants include: Lise Autogena, Alex Ressel and Kerri Meehan, Fathima Nizaruddin, Ignacio Acosta.
We are very honoured that Professor Gabrielle Hecht will give a keynote public lecture on Tuesday 22 October, 18.00–20.00 (see separate event listing).
Full details, including themes, roundtable questions and background readings at https://nuclear.artscatalyst.org/content/decolonising-nuclearpublic-lecture-workshop.
We would like to encourage current CHASE doctoral researchers to participate in the event, especially those engaged with the wider implications of nuclear decoloniality which may include creative resistance and indigenous rights within the theory and practice of extraction politics; and the impact of Cold War histories on nuclear colonialism, from nuclear modernity to contemporary challenges of decommissioning in post-soviet countries.
Decolonising the Nuclear
Dates & times
If you are attending an event and need the College to help with any mobility requirements you may have, please contact the event organiser in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.