About the Exhibition

Illustration by Ernst Haeckel, 1904. Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Natur (1904), plate/planche 49: Actiniae. Public Domain.

The Environmental Humanities for a Concerned Europe Innovative Training Network (ENHANCE ITN) is a four-year multinational project realized through a generous grant by the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions. It aims to promote Environmental Humanities scholarship through trans- and interdisciplinarity, and to provide analytical, vocational, and complementary skills to early career researchers. The project captures the work of twelve international doctoral students based across four leading academic institutions, namely the Deutsches Museum, the Rachel Carson CenterKTH Stockholm and the University of Leeds. The principal directors of the project are Graham Huggan, Helmuth Trischler, and Christof Mauch. Roger Norum is the project coordinator. 

Project Logo. Used with permission.

The doctoral researchers participating in this video project were Anna Antonova, Anne Gough, Jonathan Carruthers Jones, Claire Lagier, Vikas Lakhani, Jeroen Oomen, Jesse Peterson, Adam Sébire, Eveline de Smalen, and Sarah Elizabeth Yoho. Andrea Geipel and Claus Henkensiefken supported us in the production of the videos. 

The ENHANCE researchers hope that such innovations bring a richer, deeper experience to socio-environmental research, writing, and communication. The goal is to encourage environmental humanities scholars across disciplines to embrace both traditional and contemporary technologies as a means of deepening their research capabilities and facilitating communication of their findings to a wider audience. Though some of these technological developments are quite recent, we are excited about the possibilities such affordances can bring to the study of human societies, cultures, and the environment. This 360° video exhibit was featured at the project’s final conference, “(Um)Weltschmerz: An Exercise in Humility and Melancholia,” from 17 to 20 October 2018. The event took place at the Deutsches Museum and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany.  

As part of this multidisciplinary doctoral training programme, doctoral researchers carried out research into various global environmental issues currently confronting society. One aim of the ENHANCE project was to seek out, pilot, and develop new forms of researching and communicating pressing global environmental issues, and as such, the project experimented with various technologies for engaging—and engaging with—scholarly research. One of the project partners, the leading Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, introduced the ENHANCE researchers to new immersive (360º) audio-video recording technologies as a means of bringing people closer to an in situ experience of the environment—and provided an increased understanding of its complexities.

The result of this training was that each of the ENHANCE doctoral researchers produced short video installations that emerged out of their own empirical and ethnographic fieldwork. The videos work by tracking, rendering, and displaying full-field visual, sonic, and tactile data in a context in which the viewer has full control and is empowered to decide what to look at, listen to, and feel—or which story to experience. These immersive technologies can be particularly helpful for communicating multiple perspectives on (and of) the world. This, in turn, can facilitate compelling modes of communicating academic research and can enable stakeholders to understand research more effectively and consequently lead to a more tangible societal impact.

We would like to thank Ruhi Deol, Eugenio Luciano, and Daniel Dumas at the Rachel Carson Center for realizing this virtual exhibition.


About the author

Roger Norum. Used with permission.

Roger Norum is the Project Coordinator of the Marie-Curie Actions Environmental Humanities for a Concerned Europe Innovative Training Network (ENHANCE ITN). He holds a BA in Arabic and Turkish from Cornell University and M.Phil and D.Phil degrees in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. He is currently a Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Oulu, Finland. He can be reached at Roger.Norum@oulu.fi.

How to Cite

ENHANCE ITN. “Global Environments: A 360º Visual Journey.” Environment & Society Portal, Virtual Exhibitions 2019, no. 2. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. doi.org/10.5282/rcc/8593.
ISSN 2198-7696 Environment & Society Portal, Virtual Exhibitions.

The Rachel Carson Center’s Environment & Society Portal makes archival materials openly accessible for purposes of research and education. Views expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Rachel Carson Center or its partners.