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Figuring disasters, an experiment on thinking disruptions as methods

Abstract

In this report, we reflect on the 2-day thinkshop ‘Figuring disasters: methodological speculations in exorbitant worlds’ held in Valparaíso, Chile. The thinkshop aimed at discussing the possibility of inventing new genres for the figuration, representation and visualisation of distributed and processual geoclimatic disruptions. For this report, we assembled a choral essay in which each one of the participants selected one object of our visit to Messana—an informal settlement in the outskirts of Valparaíso that was severely damaged by the 2017 fires—and knit around, from and with it a reflection on the thinkshop and its questions. The report is thus fractionary. We do not look for wholes, perhaps as disasters themselves problematise linear narratives. We prefer to be attentive to what each one of us inherited from Messana and to stage that sensibility in a multiplicity, though adventures into what disasters as methods can and should be.

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