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11-12 September, Aquatic complexities. Tourism, aesthetics and dis:connections


Workshop at the Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, LMU Munich, organised by Hanni Geiger

11-12 September 2024


Commercial tourism brochures and posters paint a connective picture of holiday destinations. Images adorned with sun, beaches and the turquoise sea attract millions of travellers annually and fuel cultural exchange, the connection of remote places and job creation. This workshop will concentrate on commercial and non-commercial aesthetic works that reflect the tensions between water, the sea, rain — referents of the Latin aqua — and tourism. When dealing with water as the most important resource of tourism, whether fresh or salty, in natural or artificial basins, these works relate to complexities such as interruptions, pauses, frictions and absences that always go along with the connections that water-based tourism promotes. 


This workshop welcomes thinkers and practitioners from art, design and architecture (history), cultural and literary studies to discuss the many ways in which aesthetic creations and designed environments surrounding water-based tourism visually comment, mediate and influence global dis:connections – past, present and future. Historical and contemporary visual works that treat water as an image, a material, medium, means, environment and eco-system can illuminate the ubiquitous but overshadowed interdependencies of global entanglements and disentanglements in tourism. The works reinterrogate the sensorial aspects of leisure design and the connections it generates between the mediated destinations and the consumers with regard to water-related dis:connections. 


The workshop covers a wide range of aquatic complexities: we consider the rising sea level and the disappearance of many destinations, environments and cultures; infrastructures and tourist gazes that both connect and disconnect destinations and visitors; the glocal design of maritime architectures and bodies; ecological devastations due to the over-exploitation of water in tourism; islands, beaches, hotels and pools as sites of (im)mobility, social inclusion and exclusion, and of conflicts between local communities and global power structures.


By theorising on aquatic complexities as visualised in manifold aesthetic practices, genres and methods, this event fosters alternative ways to approach globalisation from the perspectives of the humanities and the arts while contributing to non-hegemonic art history.

Concept and organisation: Hanni Geiger, Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Munich.




Concept and organisation: Hanni Geiger, Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Munich.




Please register here by 6 September.

The programme can be downloaded here.