Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2014 (2)

28 August 2014, London

Nelly Ben Hayoun, researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London, Department of Geography will present a paper at the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2014.

Read more about the paper and the session here

Disaster Playground; Combining Homo Fabers, Homo Ludicus and Animal Laborens in Techno- Catastrophe
Nelly Ben Hayoun (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Disaster Playground (2014) is a creative platform exploring the human condition and the craft behind space exploration. By speculating on the techno-catastrophes caused by an asteroid impact and by meeting the people in charge of the emergency procedures to manage it, the project acts as a catharsis to the space programme.
Structured around a central episodic narrative borrowing from the conventions of Greek Tragedy, Disaster Playground plays out through a series of filmic ‘Programs’, shot at cinematic quality that function as training scenarios. Shot on location at NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute, California in April 2014, I work with senior disaster mitigation specialists and space experts to perform reenactments of ‘off-nominal’ events from science history in parallel with space anomalies and disasters yet to happen.
In this paper we will focus on a live exercise set up at Disaster City, Texas, an all hazard Federal emergency response and recovery team.
In this, we will argue that intense decision making pressure force the combination of Homo Fabers, Homo-Ludicus and Animal Laborens.

Emergency Life (2): Enacting Emergency
Research Group(s):
Convenor(s)Kevin Grove (Aberystwyth University)
Peter Adey (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Ben Anderson (Durham University)

Chair(s): Kevin Grove (Aberystwyth University)

Timetable: Thursday 28 August 2014, Session 4

Session abstract:
In the wake of 11 September 2001 radical scholars were quick to characterize the associated military, police, and legal responses throughout the global North as emblematic of a global state of emergency. Geographic research has begun to qualify these universalizing claims. Research on UK emergency management (e.g., Anderson and Adey 2012) and Jamaican disaster resilience (Grove 2013), inter alia, has highlighted the contextually-specific configuration of a variety of techniques, mechanisms, and technologies of power that govern life through the emergency.
While this work offers a more textured analysis of the relation between life and emergency, it nonetheless continues to direct analytical attention to more or less coherent governmental apparatuses and their calculated attempts to reconfigure life around the emergency. This focus on how the emergency governs life has come at the expense of empirically detailing how emergency is lived. In short, life in, through, as and after emergency has been under- theorized and under-researched, as has the liveliness of ways of governing emergencies: the lived, embodied, and sensuous dimensions of emergency, and the various techniques that mediate these experiences.
Accordingly, this session brings together researchers working on life and emergency understood broadly – remaining open about what counts as, or gets counted as, an emergency.