T A Burneo et al: Transformations with Nature

01nov16:1517:55T A Burneo et al: Transformations with Nature16:15 - 17:55(GMT+00:00) View in my timeEvent typeWorkshopTopicEnd-of-lifeSession ID: Workshop 4A


(Monday) 16:15 - 17:55(GMT+00:00) View in my time

Event Details

Teresa Armijos Burneo, Jeremy Phillips, Ella Britton & Liam O’Connor:: Transformations with Nature: living beyond a volcanic disaster


“As soon as I felt it, I lost consciousness. At sunrise, I didn’t know where I was. I could hear people crying, people laughing, and greeting each other. Then I saw my father. I asked where my mother was […] He cried. He then said that we will always be together. And we were never apart, until the day he died”. 

Zarina Bocanegra. Survivor of the Nevado del Ruiz Eruption 1985

In November 13th 1985, Nevado del Ruiz, a large volcano in Colombia produced a powerful explosion that melted the volcano’s icecap, and generated a flow of mud and rock down the volcano’s slopes. Despite warnings from scientists, this ‘avalanche’ or lahar, killed more than 23,000 people, many woken from sleep only seconds before it hit. Several towns were destroyed, landscapes transformed and entire ways of living and being in this world changed for ever. 35 years on, a forest has grown over the abandoned towns. People have rebuilt their lives elsewhere. Scientists know more about volcanoes. Policies to protect those at risk have been put into place. Memories remain. 

This multimedia and creative workshop will run as a hosted conversation and a reflexive exchange between participants. It will explore how sudden loss, of place, of people and ways of living impacts us in different ways. What can we learn from each other and from these seemingly far away and extreme experiences of sudden and unexpected death in Colombia? Using our senses, and experiences, we will seek to reflect on what rebuilding and remembering entail after loss.  

This session will be a facilitated conversation led by a multidisciplinary team whose aim is to explore and decolonise the relationship between humans and the environment through art, design, science and emotion. Those who join the reflexive workshop will explore these themes through images and stories related to Nevado del Ruiz, and also through your own offerings and stories of change. In order to co-create reflections during the workshop we invite people to register in advance (10 max people) and to bring along an object that helps you to connect to a significant place or time that is out of reach. This object will be used in a drawing exercise so please have drawing materials to hand, for example, paper, card, pencils, pens, string, glue, old newspaper/magazine, ink, paint brushes, etc.

Preparatory materials:

Video –Nevado Del Ruiz Remembering 1985 SUBTITLES

Speakers for this event

  • Ella Briton

    Ella Briton

    Ella Briton is a designer interested in the social and ecological value of design education, and the democratisation of design. She recently finished her role as the Design Thinker in Residence at the V&A in London, where she worked with them to bring design- thinking into the structure of their research and learning programmes.

  • Jeremy Phillips

    Jeremy Phillips

    Jeremy Phillips is a Reader in Physical Volcanology with a broad interest in environmental hazard, risk and resilience. His physical science background is in fluid dynamics and volcanic processes. He works across disciplines to integrate hazard assessment with social and physical vulnerability, risk management structures and community engagement.

  • Liam O'Connor

    Liam O'Connor

    Liam O'Connor is an artist that works across many disciplines including; drawing, photography, installation and performance, exploring our physical and imagined relationship with the city. Liam has worked collaboratively with a range of groups and communities to make artworks in response to their living and working environments.

  • Teresa Armijos

    Teresa Armijos

    Teresa Armijos is a Lecturer at the University of East Anglia, with more than 10 years of experience in interdisciplinary research that critically explores the intersection between humans and the environment. She is particularly interested in exploring the role that arts-based participatory methodologies can play in understanding risk to environmental hazards and finding innovative ways of empowering communities to respond and cope with these challenges in the long term.