Visualizing the Environmental Emergency – Alternative Aesthetics in Environmental Storytelling

Virtual event


April 20, 2022
09:00–10:15AM EDT

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© Igor Elukov

Because we live in a time when there is a proliferation of image creation and consumption, the more pictures photographers make of climate-related destruction, violent weather events, or ice melting, the more accustomed we become to seeing them, and the more distant we feel.

One of the fundamental and original characteristics of photography is its function as a witness and proof of reality, a tool for reporting that makes events and issues visible. Photographs that witness realities can have an emotional and – as a result – social impact. However, an image doesn’t mean the same for every human being as its effect can change in different cultures or historical moments. As such, a photograph is never reality itself, even if a photograph is connected to reality.

Given what needs to be addressed when we talk about the environmental crisis and climate change, this event will discuss if the role of the aesthetics today has changed. Should we consider different visual approaches to the climate crisis and the environmental crisis? Would these alternative aesthetics better draw attention to the topic in question, and thus become a more effective catalyst for change?

This event is curated by Maria Teresa Salvati, with guest speakers Elisa Medde, Editor-in-Chief of Foam Magazine, and Giorgio Brizio, a writer and activist with Fridays for Future. The event is moderated by Dr. Paul Lowe.


Event start time:

09:00 EDT (US)

14:00 BST (UK)

15:00 CEST (The Netherlands, Italy, etc.)

21:00 GMT+8 (Beijing, Manila, etc.)

This event is supported by the Photography and the Archive Research Centre, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, and Everything is Connected

Giorgio Brizio

Giorgio Brizio, 20, is an activist for Fridays For Future (FFF). He lives in Berlin and Turin, where he is studying International Development and Cooperation Sciences. For the last two years he has been most concerned to engage in political action and awareness-raising works on the climate crisis and migration.

Elisa Medde

Elisa Medde is Editor-in-Chief of Foam Magazine, and curates and writes about photography and visual culture. With a background in art history, iconology and photographic studies, her research reflects on the relationship between image, communication and power structures.

Maria Teresa Salvati

Maria Teresa Salvati is founder and director of Everything is Connected, a trans-disciplinary platform that aims at connecting different areas of research, and experiments with new ways to involve and engage the public at large, learning through the results of experimentation and providing the community with new paradigms for communicating the environmental crisis.

Paul Lowe

, London
Dr. Paul Lowe is a Reader in Documentary Photography and the Course Leader of the Masters program in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, UK. Paul is an award-winning photographer who has been published in TIME, Newsweek, Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer, and The Independent, amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release, famine in Africa, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and the destruction of Grozny.
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