The Media Institute's NUCLEAR ENERGY PROJECT course took place in Paks

Date: 2023.10.25
At the course, which included a week of fieldwork and lectures, students studied the production, use, and perception of nuclear energy, exploring in particular the mediating role of photography in the context of the energy future and climate change.

The increasing demand for various forms of energy is a central feature of contemporary society and has become one of the greatest challenges we face on local and planetary scale. During our daily routines, we often ignore the countless aspects of energy, which is mostly experienced as abundance or scarcity. 

The last decades were marked by emerging crises around fossil, nuclear, sustainable resources, fuelled by competing technologies, and we came to realize that we need new goals in economy to replace growth. Young artists are able to link these aspects on a personal or even spiritual level and create a much-needed consensus by extending the privately experienced concept of energy into the realm of societal discourse. 

Artists today are increasingly judged on their work processes, the degree to which they supply good or bad collaborative models. Students participating in the course had the opportunity to experience trans-local, decentralized methods for exploring and discussing expectations, fears, and visions around nuclear energy. 

The fieldwork enabled students to get in touch with local institutions and people involved in the production of nuclear energy to various degrees and in different ways. Their ideas about energy were shaped by the nuclear energy experience created by the institutions and the opinions of the people of Paks together. 

The first half of the Nuclear Energy Project course consisted of an intensive field trip at PAKS and Bátaapáti, visiting facilities and institutions of and related to the Nuclear Power Plant and radioactive waste storage. The lectures of the teachers focused on these and the diverse interpretations of the concept of energy, discussing the issues of collaborative work and social commitment through personal examples, including a lecture by international expert Eszter Mátyás raising a number of questions about our energy future. 

The knowledge acquired during the field trip and lectures provided guidance in working with people involved in nuclear energy, interview design, researching archival material, and successful development of student projects. 

Teachers of the course: Mathieu Asselin, Krisztina Erdei, Gábor Arion Kudász and Willem Vermoere. 

Participating universities: KASK, Gent, MOME, Budapest, and PKE, Nagyvárad 

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