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ONLINE Conversation: Vulnerable Futures

Thursday, 30 June 2022
6.30 – 8pm

How are patterns of migration and population displacement evolving now we stand on the brink of ecological collapse? How can we imagine the future of humanity?

Expanding from ideas explored by Rajni Perera in Traveller, this conversational event brings together exciting new thinking relating climate vulnerability & resilience to natural hazards in the global south, and spatial mapping of mobility and displacement of people. The conversation will be led by Rajni and brings together intersecting, interdisciplinary research and responses to common themes to explore what our planet’s fate and human futures might be.

Rajni has invited Dr Neelambari Phalkey from the University of Birmingham and Sana Murrani from the University of Plymouth to participate in the conversation and share their research and thinking.

Rajni Perera (b. 1985, Sri Lanka) lives and works in Toronto. She explores issues of hybridity, futurity, ancestorship, immigration identity/cultures, monsters and dream worlds. All of these themes marry in a newly objectified realm of mythical symbioses. In her work she seeks to open and reveal the dynamism of the icons and objects she creates, both scripturally existent, self-invented and externally defined. She creates a subversive aesthetic that counteracts antiquated, oppressive discourse, and acts as a restorative force through which people can move outdated, repressive modes of being towards reclaiming their power.

Dr Neelambari Phalkey is an interdisciplinary researcher in climate vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards in the global south. She brings ten years of research experience from district, national and international level through her academic and research work in a university, think tank organisations and the NGO sector. She is also a published photographer and filmmaker. Currently, she is the lead researcher for the ESRC funded project entitled: Sustaining Island Communities through Increased Resilience to Climate Change (SCIRCC).

Dr Sana Murrani is an Associate Professor in Spatial Practice with a background in Architecture and Urban Design. She is the Deputy Director of the Doctoral College for the Arts and Humanities at the University of Plymouth, UK. Sana’s main research falls within the field of architecture in particular, the imaginative negotiations of spatial practices and social justice. She focuses on highlighting the impact of transient conditions of war, conflict, and displacement on people’s creative spatial responses to sudden changes in their built environment and the making (or re-making) of the concept of home and collective imaginary housing for the future.


For Birmingham 2022 festival