About the exhibition

This exhibit considers how different forms of representation have been used to influence public perceptions of environmental harm associated with US military bases and activities worldwide. Instead of attempting a comprehensive survey of all the images, monuments, and narratives that have been devoted to these environmental impacts, I have focused on significant modes of representation including maps, films, literature, photographs, and monuments. Wherever possible, I selected visual examples that exemplify how a particular medium can help us perceive and frame environmental risks. I attempted to include images showing both how the US Department of Defense downplays environmental impacts and how activists and artists have mobilized representational practices to convey the scale and lived experience of environmental harm wrought by militarization. I have included both international and domestic examples to convey the geographical scope of US militarization. While many artists generously granted permission to reproduce their works online, at times the exhibit’s selections have been limited to images available in the public domain.


Thanks to Rusty Bartels for research assistance, to Kareem Shihab for producing custom maps for this project, and to the UC Davis Mellon Research Initiative in Environments and Societies for providing frequent opportunities to think collectively about many of the issues covered here. For permission to reproduce their artwork, I am grateful to Greg Girard, J. P. Candelier, John Gianvito, Jack Niedenthal, elin o’Hara slavick, Craig Santos Perez, Lee Craker, and Richard Misrach.

How to cite

Hsu, Hsuan. “Representing environmental risk in the landscapes of US militarization.” Environment & Society Portal, Virtual Exhibitions 2014, no. 1. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. http://www.environmentandsociety.org/node/6293.

ISSN 2198-7696 Environment & Society Portal, Virtual Exhibitions

Creative Commons License 2014 Hsuan Hsu
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