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Message posted on 17/09/2019

Stories that Matter: Exploring (Re)Presentation and Communication of Hydrosocial Research

Dear Colleagues

with apologies for cross-posting, I would like to draw your attention to a workshop, a reading/performance evening, an intervention opening and a film screening taking place next week in Cologne.

Kind regards Sandro Simon

Stories that Matter: Exploring (Re)Presentation and Communication of Hydrosocial Research 25.-27. September, University of Cologne

Please find the full program and the timetable here . For any questions, do not hesitate to write to delta-info@uni-koeln.de

A workshop accompanied by an exhibition opening, a reading, performances and a film screening. Organised by the DELTA Project of the University of Cologne in cooperation with the Global South Studies Center (GSSC), Cultures and Societies in Transition (CA IV), Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and the Cologne Summer School of Interdisciplinary Anthropology.

The Stories that Matter workshop explores ways of communicating hydrosocial research in anthropology and related disciplines. By hydrosocial, we mean the fields of relations that are simultaneously social and hydrological, which includes questions of drinking water access and wastewater disposal, irrigation and drainage, flood risk and drought, sea-level rise, coastal erosion and salinization, snow reliability and well drilling, as well as a host of other spheres where society and water are shaped by each other. These spheres have always been characterized by fluctuations and surprises, but are currently increasingly volatile in the times of the Anthropocene.

Current public and media accounts of hydrosocial issues tend to focus on a limited number of representations, most of them originating in the abstractions of the natural sciences or journalistic disaster narratives. They include the images of flooded cities, the maps indicating prognoses of sea level rise, the stories of climate refugees, and the graphs of declining reservoir levels. But they systematically fail to convey the lived experiences, strategies, hopes, resiliences and challenges of people around the world that do not fit these narratives and aggregations. These latter stories, however, are precisely what anthropological and related research has been instrumental in revealing through their thick description of different people’s lifeworlds. And upholding the multiplicity and the
‘otherwise’ in particular people’s ways of experiencing and confronting global challenges remains a mainstay in their academic project.

The workshop will showcase, critically discuss and try out different styles, media and formats of representing and disseminating such alternative hydrosocial insights. These will include exhibitions, film, performance, literature, or journalism. We will focus on ‘stories that matter’ in the sense of experience-near accounts that can inform larger-scale debates, but also in the sense of illustrating how social and material aspects of hydrosocial transformations must be considered together, rather than delegating some dimensions to anthropologists and others to hydrologists. Our format will combine public events with presentations and panel discussions that elaborate and reflect on these and other forms, media and events.

Wednesday 25.9.19 //AnthropoScenes – Crossing Boundaries of Artistic and Scientific Storytelling// Jointly organized with the Cologne Summer School of Interdisciplinary
Anthropology (CSIA) Anna Badkhen: Fisherman's Blues (Reading), moderated by Mithu Sanyal and with a videoscenery by Sandro Simon Anastasia Guevel: Between Dog and Wolf (Performance) Marina Guzzo: IARA - Dance for a Multitude of Fishes (Performance) Sina Seifee: Critical Bestiaries (Installation/Performance Lecture) More Infos

Thursday 26.9.19 // Publicizing and Politicizing Anthropology// Talks by Kirsten Hastrup, Werner Krauss and Franz Krause Input and Open Roundtable with Simon Jäggi and Mirjam Kid Open Atelier: An Anthropology for the Future

Opening of the Intervention „Delta Welten“ ('Delta Worlds‘) at the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum Köln. More Infos .

Friday 27.9.19 //Sensualizing Anthropology// Talks and Conversations with Paul Stoller, Anna Badkhen, Darcy Alexandra, Nuran David Calis, Bernard Müller, Michel Massmünster, Teresa Cremer, Nora Horisberger, Benoit Ivars, Sandro Simon and Marie-Helen Scheid. Final Plenum

Q&A with Izabella Faya and Screening of the film '5 Vezes Chico - O Velho E Sua Gente‘ ('5 Times Chico – The São Francisco River and his People‘) (Brazil 2015, 90min). More Infos .


Sandro Simon

PhD Researcher | Wiss. Mitarbeiter DELTA DFG-Junior Research Group Anthropology Department University of Cologne

DELTA Project
@SandroBSimon sandro.simon@uni-koeln.de

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