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Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Co-chair and co-organiser of a session: Dark Skies: Borderlands, Cultures, Practices. Dark skies represent borderlands between the aesthetic, scientific and spiritual. Their diverse values offer a crucial reminder of our relationship with the planet and the other species that we share it with. Yet the widespread growth in different types of artificial illumination is limiting our access to dark skies. Darkness remains misunderstood, frequently placed in an oppositional dynamic with light and represented as both philosophically and physically inferior to it. However, when encountering the awe of dark skies an exchange in how our perceptions have been framed, developed and performed can occur. Through reconnecting with dark skies, it is possible to better understand their importance and communicate this to those who have been unable to experience them. Critical to understanding the role of darkness in the composition of place is acknowledging the dynamic qualities of the elements that form and shape them in material, spatial, and temporal terms. If we look to the way other species relate to darkness we are struck by a wider array of sensations and interactions than are often present in urban landscapes at night. This suggests that it might be useful for us to rediscover and reimagine our relationships with darkness through emerging cultural associations and creative practices. This panel session will bring together a variety of approaches to form a multi-disciplinary engagement with dark skies. This intersection of inquiries will also explore the borders between theory and practice to discuss new trajectories for investigation.

Event (Conference)

TitleRoyal Geographical Society Annual International Conference
LocationThe Royal Geographical Society
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom