The Archive of Nuclear Harm exhibits, screens, publishes and collects materials on life and death in the nuclear age. We also design and deliver educational programs. Our mission is to create a resource deep into the nuclear future, that is accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Items of interest include artworks and other cultural artefacts that explore the full range of harms—to bodies and the biosphere—that are inflicted by both the civilian and military applications of nuclear technology, as well as the universal problems of nuclear contamination and waste. Since the legacy of the nuclear age must be conceived on timescales of up to one million years, and threaten the continued safe operating conditions of Earth’s biosphere, this will be a memory institution like no other.
The Archive was established in 2012, and is currently a contributing project of the Mistra and Formas-sponsored Environmental Humanities Collaboratory at Linköping Univeristy in Sweden (2016-present). Previously, the Archive was part of the Nuclear Futures partnership initiative, a three-year arts and culture program sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts (2014-16).
“I have seen my own death.” — Berta Röntgen
“Wherever nuclear events occur, photographers are present. They are there not only to record what happens, but also to assist in the production of what happens.” — John O’Brian
“One gets the feeling, particularly in Japanese films but not only there, that a mass trauma exists over the use of nuclear weapons and the possibility of future nuclear wars.” — Susan Sontag
“The difficulty faced by scholars who work on nuclear issues, especially in the non-western world, is the prior step of creating an archive of ‘disguised’, ‘insufficiently elaborated’, and ‘naïve’ nuclear knowledges.” — Itty Abraham
FOCUS THEME 2016-19: MARKERS
The Earth is marked by the nuclear age. This is true whether we consider the history of the nuclear age, or its future. And for this reason, it is the inaugural focus theme of the Archive of Nuclear Harm. Activities through 2019 include exhibitions, a film series, a series of edited collections that reimagine historical nuclear events, the continued acquisition of physical items along with their digitisation, as well as the design and delivery of an intensive workshop in the Nuclear Humanities.