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Environmental Photography and Humanities – Contributions to Research and Awareness.
An international symposium held at University of Gothenburg 23-24 April 2015

Environmental Photography and Humanities aim to bring together cross disciplinary questions, practices and studies within humanities, social sciences, art and the natural sciences regarding aspects of perceptions of the land, how nature has been valued and used and how human activities and cultures act as part of, or against earths eco-system and the future consequences of those different approaches. Shifting cultural views has over time through exploration, exploitation and colonisation and shifting political focus, changed not only ideas and perceptions of the natural world but also the relation with terrestrial and marine areas and its inhabitants. The current state of the earth is critical with remaining pockets of natural resources being explored with possible consequences ranging from a massive extinction of animal species and ecological disasters to acts of war between competing nations and large migrations due to lack of food, water and fertile soil. How do photography and humanities contribute to the understanding and story of the changes of our environment and the living conditions for a wide range of people? How does environmental photography and humanities function as both the witness to mankind’s brutal interference with land and sea as well as being a voice for what to save and for the beauty of the wild places wherever they are to be found?

The issues of the impact of our industrialised culture with its current economical system are our times most important issues in regards to the future of our existence in a world as we still know it. Facing the concept and consequences of the Anthropocene is a great challenge for humanity and it is of great importance to identify and understand the rapid changes in our environment to be able to prepare for the future to come. The visual impact of photographs as documents and artistic representations as well as the power of literature, art, film and science has a tradition of being able to raise awareness among the public and support policymakers, politicians, researchers, environmentalists and activists. The symposium Environmental Photography and Humanities wants to address the need to develop that tradition.

Speakers:

Subhankar Banerjee, photographer, writer and activist, USA

Joni Adamson, Professor Environmental Humanities, Arizona State University, USA 

Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering and director, Harvard University Center for the Environment, USA

Anders Wijkman, Co-president Club of Rome, Sweden

Mark Klett, Professor Photography, Arizona State University, USA

Anne Noble, Professor Photography, Massey University, New Zeeland

Per Holmlund, Professor Glaciology, Stockholm University

Jem Southam, Professor Photography, Plymouth University

Heidi Morstang, Lecturer Photography, Plymouth University

Liz Wells, Professor in Photographic Culture, Plymouth University

 

Contact: Tyrone Martinsson, (tyrone.martinsson@gu.se).