Dr. Juan Salazar, Western Sydney University
In recent years, the Antarctic has become a fitting space for anthropological analysis and ethnographic research as human activities intensify and human populations increasingly make themselves at home in Antarctica. These processes demand a deepening of inquiry into what kinds of socialities, subjectivities, material cultures, affects, and cultural practices are emerging there. Antarctica shapes the future of the planet in unexpected ways. It is not only a unique laboratory for science, but an exceptional laboratory for thinking about futures on and off Earth. It is also the one of the most mediated places on Earth. Informed by video ethnographic work in the Antarctic Peninsula and the production of a series of environmental communication and media projects, including digital storytelling, the feature-length documentary film Nightfall on Gaia (2015), and an online game, this talk will explore the role of communication and media practices in developing accounts of world-making processes through which extreme environments are made habitable.
Dr. Juan Francisco Salazar is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, and Research Director of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at Western Sydney University, Australia where he is also a Research Theme Champion (Environment & Sustainability). As an anthropologist, communication specialist and filmmaker, his academic and creative work is concerned with the coupled dynamics of socio-environmental change. His most recent book is the co-edited volume Anthropology and Futures: Researching Emerging and Uncertain Worlds (Bloomsbury, 2017) and his latest film is the award-winning documentary Nightfall on Gaia (2015). He is currently leading an Australian Research Council Linkage Project Antarctic Cities and the Global Commons (2017-2020) and completing a new feature length documentary film titled The Bamboo Bridge.