Introduction: Refiguring Disaster Temporalities

Creative Interventions in(to) Disastrous Times


  • Chris Prentice University of Otago



The introduction to this special section notes the wide range of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields that have begun to address questions of disaster, including questions of time, or temporality, that emerge in relation to definitions, understandings, and experiences of disaster. Following a discussion of selected scholarly works that focus on the role of arts, creative activities, or more generally aesthetic considerations in relation to disaster experiences, including ethical as well as formal or technical challenges facing the representation of disaster, the three essays that make up this special section are introduced.

The three essays explore questions of temporality that emerge in the context and aftermath of ‘environmental’ disaster — Australian bushfires, the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010–11, and reef ruins of eastern Sulawesi. More specifically, they address the ways that aesthetic responses to, or treatment of, disaster in creative arts both reveal and refigure disaster temporalities in affective terms, often with ethical implications.


Keywords: disaster, environment, temporality, art, affect

Author Biography

Chris Prentice, University of Otago




How to Cite

Prentice, C. (2023). Introduction: Refiguring Disaster Temporalities: Creative Interventions in(to) Disastrous Times. Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 19(2), 33–48.