Conference "Imaging Disaster"
Mar 16, 2012
Representation and perception of disasters in different cultures was the topic of the conference "Imaging Disaster" organised by research project D17 "Images of Disaster". It is was held from March 1-3, 2012, at Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH).
International scholars from interdisciplinary fields of research analysed the ways disasters are imagined and visualised in two senses. First, they addressed methodological questions pertaining to a transcultural vocabulary and iconography of disasters. In addition their papers focused on the event of disaster and its medial representation as a complex and composite socio-cultural process. How do individuals in different cultures imagine disasters? How do images shape the perception of an event so as to identify it as a disaster? Which elements are specific to cultures, which ones work in a transcultural context by virtue of their mobility?
The keynote lecture on "Pictures of Catastrophe and the Turning Point in the History of Images in the 18th century" was given by PD Dr. Jörg Trempler (Humboldt University of Berlin). Among other speakers, Prof. Charles Zika (University of Melbourne) talked about "Visual signs of imminent disaster in the 16th-century Zurich archive of Johann Jakob Wick" as part of the first section of the conference on "Sign, Prediction and Vision" of disasters. The fourth section on "Memory" included a lecture by Gennifer Weisenfeld (Duke University).
The conference was organised by research project D17 "Images of Disaster" coordinated by Prof. Monica Juneja (Heidelberg) and Prof. Gerrit Jasper Schenk (Darmstadt). It takes place from March, 1-3 2012 at the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH). The second day of the conference closed with a photo exhibition at DAI Heidelberg. The exhibition features photographs on the relationship between Man and nature taken by Aric Mayer and Kazu Ahmed. The conference precedes an exhibition at the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museum in Mannheim planned for 2014.