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Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanities

How do we Weather Uncertainty?

Rock Balance Bridge

Theme lead: Dr Stephanie Jones

Environmental crises require us to rethink our relationships to resources, security, power, and each other. Our research in this area explores the critical roles of art and culture in owning our pasts and imagining our futures.

Previous SIAH-Funded Projects

Building Exchange: Capacity, Resilience and Sustainable Eco-systems in the Global Creative and Cultural Industries

Lead Researchers: Prof. Ed D’Souza, Dr Estrella Sendra Fernandez, Zoë Viney Burgess

This project brings together three research partners: Kochi-Muziris art Biennale in India, the Banlieue Films Festival in Senegal, and Digital Suzhou Festival in China.  

Through a series of roundtable events designed to facilitate knowledge exchange this research project will explore how global arts can creatively respond to economic challenges, lead in policy development, build capacity and lead towards strategic understanding of how large-scale art events can be managed, maintained and ‘shared’ to ensure capacity building, knowledge exchange and inclusive, sustainable growth in the long term.

Cultures, Ecologies and Economies of Oil: A Critical Exploration of the Lived Contradictions and Representations of Oil across Nations, Sectors, and Disciplines

Lead Researcher: Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh

This is a pioneering project in the emerging field of Oil Literatures and Cultures. Few studies in this field have focused on the Middle East and, above all, on Iran, Iraq, and Saudi-Arabia.    

The primary aim is the investigation of the systemic nature and global dynamics of the tensions and contradictions informing the relation between energy politics (oil), bio-politics (organ-selling), environmental, and social-cultural, and economic informing the life of Middle-Eastern as well as Anglo-American people and also the relation between the former people/nations and (neo)colonial and global powers revolving around the question of oil. 

The crux of this project is an investigation of how oil can be known and represented and how oil is lived and experienced by a people of an oil-possessing country. These epistemic and phenomenological questions demand the consideration of oil as a cultural agent and a social signifier.

Literary and cultural texts, productions and events (museum exhibitions, theatrical performances, installations, etc.) offer us a key socio-cultural and cognitive-imaginative space for tackling the contradictions of oil-owning by the Middle-Eastern and Anglo-American people. 

One of the chief aims of the project is to build a network of partners with museums, galleries, and arts organisations in the UK and internationally that work on various facets of oil or in close association with oil industry.

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