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The University of Southampton
Archaeologies of Media and Technology Research group

Agnès Villette

Agnès Villette

Agnès Villette is a practice-based PhD candidate at WSA. She is also a freelance journalist and an artist with an art practice in photography and writing. Her initial training is in Literature, for which she gained a Master and an Agrégation in Modern Literature. In 2017, she obtained a Master in Art Photography at London College of Communication.

Her research project, Radioactive Ruins, investigates the toxic landscape of La Hague, a peninsula in the North of Normandy, France, that concentrates, in a narrow perimeter, several nuclear installations which were vital, during the Cold War to secure the plutonium for the first French nuclear bomb. The nuclear territory encompasses installations that cover most of the industrial and military nuclear cycle, from electricity production, fuel reprocessing to nuclear waste repository, entailing low level accidents and leakages that define the slow violence entangling nuclear isotopes and natural ecosystems since the 1960's. 

Embedded in the field studies of Environmental Humanities, Nuclear Culture and Nuclear Aesthetics, the project explores the nuclearity of this singular territory through its geological materialities where radio-toxic isotopes ubiquitously distributed in streams, rivers and soils unfold the non linear and complex narratives of La Hague. Confronting different sources of data provided by different monitoring agencies, the research aims at bringing to visibility the invisible presence of radioactive trace evidence disseminated in the Norman landscape.

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