Neoliberalism and the Aftershocks of Natural Disasters

By Hannah Slater (Department of Art History)

The virtual conference Worlds in Contention: Race, Neoliberalism, and Injustice featured a range of discussions that about the correlations between land use, global supply chains, food systems, and disaster capitalism, among others. Scholars presented a series of case studies that prompted ideas on how individuals and groups respond to, and resist, the imposition of neoliberal logic upon cultural traditions and everyday life. These subjects are of particular interest within my own research in the Department of History of Art at OSU which focuses on how contemporary artists have responded to the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan on March 11, 2011. My interest is in artists who not only visualize the inseparability between natural disasters and their many causalities, but also emphasize localized moments to poke holes in global neoliberal structures that enable the undoing of communities.   Continue reading