Visualizing the Environmental Emergency – Alternative Aesthetics in Environmental Storytelling

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.

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