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Winter 2023-24 | After Lunch Lecture | 60 Minutes in Ethnography, Theory, Anthropology

Winter 2023/24
60 Minutes on ... ‘Crises, Sensing and sensemaking’

Wednesday, 14.00-15.15 h in the Department's Library

organized by Nina ter Laan, Carla Tiefenbacher and Martin Zillinger in Co-operation with the CRC “Media of Co-operation”

For students who want their attendance accredited (via the “Laufzettel”), please contact Annika Benz: a.benz@uni-koeln.de

This Lecture Series will explore dynamics of sensing and sense making, in situations of social and environmental crises.

The increasing spread of sensor technologies across a wide set of contexts restructures forms of perception, sensing and knowledge making. Sensors measure movements in the city, record air quality, temperatures and energy consumption, control production and logistics processes in interaction with algorithms and learning systems, track the behavior and well-being of people, recognize people in images and video recordings or re-organize (digital) terrains. Sensor data, their collection, analysis, and integration with other data formats, and their interaction with various forms of practice are constitutive not only of sensing, but also of sense making.

 In this series of talks, we are interested in forms of sensing and sense making vis-à-vis major dynamics of socio-political and environmental crises in and beyond the Mediterranean, in particular (1) mobility and related border regimes, (2) growing environmental crises and their (non)management, and (3) forms of social mobilization (activism) and their control.

 All three areas are characterized by specific forms of socio-technical sensing and the engagement with it - sense making. Both are distributed among multiple actors, including humans, machines, and the environment itself. Sensor media are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, and come with a number of ethical and political challenges – such as the erosion of privacy, new forms of surveillance, and socio-technical spread of prejudices and various forms of biases. They are often perceived as both – a driving force behind and a possible solution to different forms of social, political, technical and environmental crises.  

 The invited international guests will explore Sensing and Sense Making praxeologically – and thus in its various guises, forms and formats. Part I will investigate forms of sense making in the context of deadly borders regimes, in hazardous environments and as part of social activism. Part II will look at the challenges and opportunities of ethnographic research and public interventions to engage with situations of crises and collaborative knowledge production.

Winter 2023/24 -  Programme
60 Minutes  on ... ‘Crises, Sensing and sensemaking’



11/10/2023 Khalid Mouna (Moulay Ismail University, Meknès, Morocco)
When the margins produce their sound. Drug users in Tangier, Morocco.

18/10/2023 Johara Berriane (University of the Bundeswehr Munich,Germany)
Religious Place, Presence, and Sense-Making in African Migrant Trajectories within and beyond Morocco
This talk is also a keynote of the DiaMiGo Autumn Research Academy. Location: Dozierendenzimmer, Main Building.


08/11/2023 Massimiliano Mollona (Università di Bologna)
Between Art, Activism and Anthropology. An exploration of artistic practices as militant research. (click here for more personal details)

14/11/2023 Filmclub 813 e.V. in co-operation with Juan Pablo Aris Escarcena (Universidad de Sevilla)
Film Screening and Discussion “Solidarity Crime”
Time: 19:30Uhr Location Kino in der BRÜCKE, Hahnenstr. 6, 50667 Köln

15/11/2023 Juan Pablo Aris Escarcena (Sevilla)
Sensing and Sensemaking across Borders – Spain/Morocco: Borderscapes & humanitarian detention: Conflict & cooperation between securitarian and humanitarian actors.

29/11/2023 Munira Khayyat (NYU Abu Dhabi)
A landscape of War


06/12/2023 Giovanni Gugg (Université Paris-Nanterre)
Magmatic lives around Vesuvius (Naples). Risk, scotomization and urban crisis


10/01/2024 Francis Pope (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Air of the Anthropocene

17/01/2024 Erella Grassiani (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
The Tree as Weapon: (non) state securitization of trees in the Negev/Naqab

31/01/2024 Christelle Gramaglia (University of Montpellier/ UMR-GEAU, France)
Collaborative Sensing of Industrial Pollution in the Gulf of Fos (Marseille) - A Return to Common Sense?