Scarred Land: An Invisible History of the Bomb

Scarred Land: An Invisible History of the Bomb | Lecture and literary reading
Kyveli Mavrokordopoulou, readings by Lola Díaz Cantoni and Jan van Egmond
Godert Walter, Nieuwe Ebbingestraat 53
12 september, 20.00 (doors open 19.45)

If the image of the mushroom cloud stubbornly oscillates between the uncanny and the sublime, there is also a pre and a post explosion that lack the bomb’s piercing visuality. To optimise the technology of the nuclear bomb, different kinds of dirty work were necessary. Who had to mine the uranium that exploded over Hiroshima? How to deal with environmental contamination from ceaseless testing throughout the Cold War? What are the histories of resistance of local communities (still) fighting for their land rights in the aftermath of nuclear testing? Combined with a literary reading, this talk tells some of the stories that didn’t make their way into canonical narratives around the bomb. It takes a selection of contemporary artworks as its guide through territories that have been sacrificed to nuclear colonialism. 

Fiction and poetry by, among others: Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, Kurt Vonnegut, Chantal Spitz.

Kyveli Mavrokordopoulou is a writer and researcher. Currently, she is undertaking a PhD at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Her research explores the temporality of spaces characterised as “nuclear”, through recent artistic practices, such as exclusion zones and nuclear waste repositories. Together with Ruby de Vos she edited the special issue of Kunstlicht on “Nuclear Aesthetics” and co-founded the Nuclear Aesthetics Research Network. 

Credit visuals: “Geology” chapter from Trace Evidence, Susan Schuppli, HD video, color with four-channel sound, 53 minutes, 2016.