Invisible Reconstruction Cross disciplinary responses to disaster and approaches to sustainable resilience

Lucia Gunning's picture
Call for Papers
September 1, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Childhood and Education, Communication, Government and Public Service, Social Sciences, Urban Design and Planning


Important dates
•    Call for 1000 word abstract 20 June 2021
•    Acceptance 30 June 2021
•    Submission of video presentations 30 July 2021


Natural, biological and man-made disasters disproportionately impact the marginalised and economically underprivileged, from children and the elderly, to the physically impaired, placing increased burdens on women and further impacting refugees and migrants. These categories have paid the highest price as a consequence of COVID-19 and the pandemic has exposed underlying fragilities and the inequality of access to technology, to shared resources and to open space.

  • How can disaster responses avoid compounding pre-existing vulnerabilities?
  • How can public space reduce social inequality and create places of safety, refuge and release?
  • How can societies improve access to technology for the most vulnerable and what lessons can be learned from the pandemic?

Education and Schools

Schools, universities and museums are key to community cohesion and societal resilience, yet their importance is often forgotten in disaster response. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fragilities at the different stages of the educational process, further highlighting those of the educators themselves and the importance of maintaining physical contact to preserve psychological well being.

  • As adaptable, polyvalent public spaces of participation and refuge, how can schools protect from disaster, provide safety and promote recovery?
  • What is the role of education in promoting resilience and social cohesion in communities at risk?
  • In a rapidly changing world, how can cultural educators such as schools, universities and museums support life-long-learning and adaptation?

Participation and Engagement

A core aspect of the conference will be the role of communication in raising risk-awareness, planning for disaster response, promoting post-disaster public engagement and in ensuring institutional transparency. Communication is key to individual mental wellbeing as well as to the long-term success of social reconstruction.

  • Can social media support societies impacted by disaster, reinforcing and extending the sense of community and reconnecting fractured social bonds?
  • How can information technology empower communities to participate in processes of recovery?
  • Are ground-up initiatives the key to sustainable, resilient recovery and preparedness?
  • How can remote participation support in-loco initiatives and how can global engagement promote local recovery?

Art, Culture, Museums and Intangible Heritage

Art and culture provide a sense of identity, bring social cohesion and can be a focus for participation, engagement and sustained recovery. Conversely war and natural disaster provide the ideal conditions for looting and the loss of cultural heritage. The loss of physical access to art and culture during the COVID-19 emergency is exacerbated by the collapse of the cultural economy.

  • How can the cultural sector recover from disaster and what is its role in stimulating economic recovery?
  • How can digitisation and information technologies promote and protect cultural heritage, maintain access to culture and support artists following disaster?
  • How can communities affected by disaster re-engage tourists without being subsumed by disaster tourism?
  • Does the rediscovery of intangible culinary and agricultural traditions and of craft processes provide a basis for unique experiences, sustainable tourism and for global-facing localised communities?
  • We invite submission of abstract limited to 1000 words identifying the applicable session and theme
  • Each presentation slot will have a maximum duration of 8 minutes
  • Abstracts and presentations to be in English
  • Collected abstracts will be published online prior to the conference
  • The conference will be held online with an in-presence element; the final programme and conference link will be published in the last week of August
  • Contact


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