Art History in Climate Change Conference ONLINE – BSL Interpreted

Event Details

This is a live online conference – please register for more details.
Thursday 25th June – 12.45pm – 5.30pm
Friday 26th June – 1.00pm – 5.30pm

This online conference will explore the stakes of art and art history in the climate crisis.

In recent years, climate change has become a central issue on the international political agenda, due to the activism of groups such as Extinction Rebellion and the worldwide campaigning of figures such as Greta Thunberg. Yet the disastrous effects of excessive fossil fuel emissions on the biosphere and human civilisation have long been understood by scientists, politicians and public figures alike, and environmental activism is hardly a new phenomenon.

In this decisive moment for our planet, we need to think critically about who or what is allowed to represent the climate crisis. As Chika Unigwe has recently argued, the long-term efforts of climate activists of colour risk erasure in the western media’s current promotion of Thunberg.

Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus, the global economy has been in a state of partial shutdown with a reduction of emissions, surely providing an unprecedented opportunity finally to transition to a ‘greener’ mode of production. How can art contribute to this effort, especially in a moment when many arts organisations risk permanent closure? As events move online, including this conference, how do we need to rethink accessibility to ensure the widespread dissemination of knowledge?

We shall consider the role representation plays in our understanding of climate, and ask why some images of climate activism and environmental disaster might appear and become more alluring, effective and widespread than others. We’ll also explore the particular dialectical potentials of art in the effort to avert the catastrophic levels of warming. Papers will address the work of artists based in Europe, North America, Australia, Africa and South East Asia, and consider the methodological implications of both artists and art historians in global warming.

Please join us as we consider what it might mean for art to ‘tell the truth’ of the climate crisis.

Event Organiser/Organisation
Dr Theo Gordon, Sackler Postdoctoral Fellow, Courtauld Institute
Start Date/Time
Thursday 25 June 2020 at 12.45pm
End Date/Time
Friday 26 June 2020 at 5.30pm
Venue Address
This is a live online event - details will be sent to registered attendees. Online
Event Website
Booking Instructions
This is a live online event. Please register through eventbrite and the platform and log in details will be sent to you 48 hours prior to the event. Please note registration ends at 11.45 on Thursday 25th June. If you do not receive the log in details, or require any further information, please contact us at To register please visit the event webpage:

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