november, 2021

02nov11:3012:00T A Burneo et al: Transformations with Nature11:30 - 12:00 Studio 3Event type:PresentationTopic:End-of-life


(Tuesday) 11:30 - 12:00


Studio 3

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. We propose to run a hosted conversation and a reflexive walk to explore what and how others can learn from these seemingly far away and extreme experiences of sudden and unexpected death. Using our senses, our bodies and the grounds of Dartington Hall estate as learning and knowledge exchange spaces, we will seek to re-imagine our knowledge(s) about death, living, being with and in nature. We will ask what can the experiences of those who survive fatal events tell us about uncertainty, knowledge production and circulation, in relation to death, survival and transformation? How are those who survived coping today and how do they relate to nature? What are the trees that are growing around the abandoned homes in Colombia showing us? This session will be a facilitated conversation led by a multidisciplinary team whose aims is to explore and decolonise the relationship between humans and the environment through art, design, science and emotion (Escobar 2018; De la Cadena). Those who join the reflexive walk will explore these themes through images, stories, and scientific data relating to Nevado del Ruiz. The aim is to co- create knowledge, stories, and reflections during the walk. The walk can run for 2 or 3 times if required.

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.


    • Day 1
    • 31/10/2021
    • 16.00 Opening day events16.00 - 21.00Opening day events including keynotesSpeakers: Bayo Akomolafe, Beatrice Allegranti