Nuclear Culture: round table

beeld: Yelena Popova

beeld: Yelena Popova

Roundtable on art and radioactive waste storage in Belgium

The Nuclear Culture Roundtables bring together artists, architects, philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists along with nuclear agencies, scientists, stakeholders and NGO’s. We start with short presentations that introduce the issues of the Nuclear Anthropocene. These include the problems of creating nuclear waste, the option of geological storage, the difficulty of communicating or marking contaminated sites for future generations, and the question of designing infrastructures for a deep time future. We will consider the larger ethical questions at stake, and focus on the specific situation of nuclear waste management in Belgium. After the introductory presentations, we will invite participants from different areas of expertise to take part in three round table discussions, to which the audience is welcome to contribute. 

The Underground/Overground round table will include artists participating in the Z33 Nuclear Culture programme, researchers from the Belgian Nuclear Waste Management project, artists from the ANDRA art programme, researchers on MODERN 2020, and a group of young students research concepts of deep time communication working with the Z33 education programme.

The presentations and discussion will be held in English.


Z33, Hasselt


10.00 Arrival and Coffee

Welcome: Ils Huygens, curator Z33
Introduction: curator Perpetual Uncertainty
Chair: Jasmine De Bruycker (Z33Research)

10.30-11.30 Presentations: Underground

  • Regine Débatty, writer, Conceptualizing the subterranean
  • Jantine Schroeder, SCK-CEN, the Belgian context
  • Andy Weir, Artist, UK, Deep Decay contagion and Pazugoo
  • Maarten Vanden Eynde, Artist, Belgium, Uranium Trade 

11.30-12.00 Coffee Break

12-13.00 Presentations: Overground

  • Anne Bergmans, Prof Sociology, Antwerp University, Belgium
  • Community representatives, Stora and Mona, Belgium
  • Dirk Somers, Bovenbouw Architects, Belgium
  • Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead, Artists , UK/Scotland

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-16.00 Roundtable Discussion Groups

  • Group A: Citizen Science and Participation 21st Century
    Chair: Anne Bergmans
    Participants: Artists Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead; Bridget Kennedy; Dirk Somers Architects; members of NIRAS/ONDRAF, Mona and Stora; and people engaged in participatory design, activism and community engagement in scientific projects.
    Rapporteur: Ciel Grommen
  • Group B: Deep time communication through Intergenerational relay
    Chair: Jasmine De Bruycker
    Participants: Artists Cécile Massart, Dave Griffiths, Maarten Vanden Eynde; along with Christophe Depaus NIRAS/ONDRAF the Belgian Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Material; Mona and Stora; Catherine Cobat, ANDRA, France; and people engaged in communicating knowledge over one or two generations.
    Rapporteur: Sigrid Eeckhout
  • Group C: Deep time communication through long term projection
    Chair: Robert Williams
    Participants: Artists Alice and David Bertizzolo, Alexis Destoop, Andy Weir; along with Maarten Van Geet, NIRAS/ONDRAF; Mona and Stora; and Jean-Noel Dumont ANDRA, the French Agency for radioactive waste storage; and people engaged in communicating knowledge into the deep future.
    Rapporteur: Regine Débatty

16.00-16.30 Plenary and close, chaired by Jasmine De Bruycker
16.30-18.00 Time to view the exhibition

18.00 – 20.00 Group Supper

On the Sunday morning, Ele Carpenter will give a curators tour of the exhibition 11am - 1pm.

Sarah De Ceuster