Dust to Earth: War, Trauma and Ecology

a sketch of a turtle with 2 skulls and a four legged furry creature, possibly a jackal, looking on
Rojda Tugrul, A Turtle in Ten Seconds, 2019. Film still. Courtesy of the artist.
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Study Sessions are informal and intimate discussion groups. This season's series Dust to Earth expands on our current exhibition  Our Silver City, 2094. The title refers to extra-terrestrial particles known as cosmic dust, a key source for life on earth. Readings and discussions explore forms of relationships between the sea, the land and the sky. Cosmic dust becomes a starting point to explore ideas of geology, cosmology, deep time and collective resistance.

This study session brings together artworks and field studies to explore how war and displacement affect ecological and cultural heritage. Exploring Mesopotamian rivers, soft-shell turtles and porcupines, the session aims to critically examine political and social entanglements, proposing to look at environmental memory through the movement and (dis)appearance of endemic species.


Karen Barad, ‘Nature’s Queer Performativity, Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, no. 1–2 (2012): 25–53.

Juanita Sundberg, (2014), Decolonizing Post-humanist Geographies. In: Cultural Geographies 21 (1): 33–47.

A PDF copy of this article is available here.

Further Reading / Viewing

Anna L. Tsing, ‘The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins’, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2015.

Donna Haraway J. ‘When Species Meet’. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Forensic Architecture. 2019. The Killing of Tahir Elçi. HD video, 26’18”.

Idris Khan, artist. 2012. Houses of Parliament, London. Gelatin silver print.

About the event

Online. Free. Limited Capacity.
Booking is required.
You can access this event through the Zoom meeting link available on booking.
There will be automated live captioning for this event.
A transcription for this event is not available afterwards due to the intimate nature of the event.
We are unable to provide British Sign Language interpretation for this event.
The duration of the event is one and a half hours. A rest break is not included.

Rojda Tugrul is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in Vienna, whose practice focuses on the notion of identity in relation to space. Her current research project seeks to analyse the effects of war on ecological and cultural heritage within the socio-political framework of Kurdish territories. Her work is rooted in the ongoing conflict in eastern and southeastern Turkey, analyzing its consequential influence on ecological habitats. Whilst examining the spatial transformation and deterioration of the habitat as a trace of change in the culture and collective psyche of society, her work also explores the politics of art, the autonomy of artistic representations, and the power of images.
Rojda holds an MSc in Veterinary Studies and is in the process of writing her dissertation as a PhD candidate in the Practice Program at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

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