Welcome to The Posthumanities Hub Seminar “Out of the rubble: Cal Flyn and Sarah Thomas explore islands of abandonment”

When: 3rd June 2021, 13:15 – 14:45 CEST

Where: On Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 694 6476 5527

Passcode: 940624

IMPORTANT: The session will be recorded, and possibly also made available online at a later stage. By attending the seminar, you accept these conditions (and can of course choose to keep your camera switched off).

Image used in the poster: Cal Flyn, Chernobyl


Cal Flyn’s Islands of Abandonment is a book about abandoned places: ghost towns and exclusion zones, no man’s lands and post-industrial hinterlands – and what happens when nature is allowed to reclaim its place. Exploring extraordinary places where humans no longer live – or survive in tiny, precarious numbers – Islands of Abandonment gives us a glimpse of what nature gets up to when we’re not there to see it. From Tanzanian mountains to the volcanic Caribbean, the forbidden areas of France to the mining regions of Scotland, Flyn brings together some of the most desolate, eerie, ravaged and polluted areas in the world – and shows how, against all odds, they offer our best opportunities for environmental recovery.

Sarah Thomas’s short documentary Óshlíð: River Mouth \\ Slope is an homage to an abandoned coastal road in Iceland’s Westfjords – a road which once connected her home to the last village before the Arctic Circle. It was made spontaneously with filmmaker Jonny Randall in response to the road’s imminent collapse. As well as a document of a ‘ruin’, the film itself became a powerful act of place making. Sarah will talk about the place, the process of making the film, and then bringing it back to screen it in situ. 


IN order to prepare for the seminar, please, watch Sarah Thomas’s short documentary Óshlíð: River Mouth \\ Slope (30min long).

LINK: https://vimeo.com/240138189

Password: play


Cal Flyn is an award-winning writer from the Highlands of Scotland. She writes literary nonfiction and long-form journalism. Her first book, Thicker Than Water, which explored questions of colonialism and intergenerational guilt, was a Times book of the year. Her second book, Islands of Abandonment—about the ecology and psychology of abandoned places—is out now. Cal’s journalistic writing has been published in Granta, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Wall Street Journal and others. She is a columnist for Prospect, deputy editor of literary recommendations site Five Books, and a regular contributor to The Guardian. Cal has been writer-in-residence at Gladstone’s Library and the Jan Michalski Foundation in Switzerland. She was made a MacDowell fellow in 2019.

Sarah Thomas is a writer and film-maker with a particular interest in human relationships with other-than-human rhythms and processes. She has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Glasgow. Her films have screened at festivals internationally while her anti-memoir The Raven’s Nest was shortlisted for the Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize. Other writing has appeared in Dark Mountain, The Guardian, and the recently published anthology Women On Nature.