Deutscher Kongress für Geographie 2023

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


At DKG'23 in Frankfurt am Main, I presented in the Landscapes of Abandonment Series, in the session 'Post-abandoned landscapes, multiple, multifunctional landscapes' chaired by Dr Sandra Jasper and Dr Alexander Vorbrugg. I presented on my ongoing PhD research, and discussed 'Methodological encounters and challenges at the “abandoned” Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)', with the abstract as follows:

One of the last living vestiges of the Cold War, the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) continues to constitute the world’s most hermetically sealed border, acting as both a physical barrier and a symbol of the political rifts which continue to divide North and South Korea. As a result, the space of the DMZ is often framed as a stagnant “no-man’s land” which makes insulation possible between the two countries, guaranteeing their respective sovereignties and forming a buffer against hostilities. In other words, the Inter-Korean borderland is thought to be dominated by the juridico-political prisms of both exclusion and abandonment which other buffer zones around the world are similarly defined by. However, my research project seeks to complicate these narratives of the DMZ as a simple divide or negative space, instead charting the natural, cultural, technical, and political entanglements which occur within and across the zone. Employing a voluminous approach and, in particular, one which accounts for the things (both human and more-than-human) which “fill” these volumes, my proposed contribution seeks to challenge the ideas of abandonment, posing the questions: abandonment by whom and for whom? Moreover, by drawing upon my ongoing fieldwork at the DMZ, I hope to reflect upon the methodological difficulties of working with “abandoned” spaces and their more-than-human inhabitants. Highlighting the issues around accessing such spaces, I outline alternative creative and innovative methods which might be deployed to overcome such restrictions, as well as the new and conceptually rich insights they provide into these landscapes of abandonment.
Period21 Sept 2023
Event typeConference
LocationFrankfurt am Main, GermanyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational