To mark the 30th anniversary of Bhopal Gas Disaster in India, the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, and the 10th anniversary of the South Asian tsunami, a series of public activities and events were organised by lecturers form the University of Leeds.
Events which lasted from the 18th of November to the 2nd of December, included a two day conference at the University of Leeds and art exhibitions, film screenings and presentationsat The Tetley centre for contemporary art and learning.
The postcolonial disaster project is part of a two-year Fellowship held by Dr Anthony Carrigan and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK (AHRC) as part of its Care for the Future theme. The project looks at how postcolonial art, literature, and films help us understand how disasters are experienced and understood in global contexts, and how we might better support post-disaster recovery and reconstruction in the long term.
Anthony Carrigan and Claire Barker – Lecturer in English Literature at University of Leeds, felt that:
‘As researchers working on Bhopal and other global catastrophes, we feel this struggle exposes the dark heart of globalisation and corporate abuse. At the same time, we wanted to show how survivors living in the poorest conditions, experiencing ongoing trauma and neglect, have created networks of solidarity, care, and hope.
One of the things we’ve tried to do is put pressure on the idea of disaster as an “event” – in Bhopal’s case, something that happened on 2-3 December 1984 – and instead focus on the long-term nature of catastrophe.’
For more from Anthony and Claire, read their article on ‘Bhopal: how activists and artists kept this ongoing disaster in the public eye’.
For more information on the Reframing Disaster project visit postcolonialdisaster.com
The series of events, in collaboration with the Bhopal Medical Appeal, received a great turn out. Our thanks go to Anthony, Claire, Dr Shamira Meghani, The Tetley and Melanie Hadida of the Bhopal Medical Appeal, for making these series of events such a success.