Across the Pond webinar: Photographic Memory

Join our webinar series called "Across the Pond", bringing together two Fulbright Scholars from either side of the Atlantic to discuss the intersection of their interests. Our transatlantic conversations address global challenges of all natures, and are a celebration of the civic engagement at the heart of the Commission's work.

Photographic Memory: Images of Lives (un)Lived will examine how we interact with spaces of the past. Humans seem to be drawn to exploring ruins, be they Pompeii or the haunted house in the neighbourhood where you grew up. We walk through the spaces quietly, almost in a reverent state. Often, we feel conflicted about our curiosity because we know the story behind this space is never a good one, but we are compelled forward. 

Laura Migliorino’s photo essay “Absentia: Abandoned Past” explores abandoned homes, simple dwellings haunted by the memories of who once lived there. In contrast Makoto Takahashi’s curation of “Picturing the Invisible invites us into vivid depiction of life in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Using these projects as a departure point, this conversation asks questions about why humans visit and revisit spaces of the past. Takahashi and Migliorino will consider what attracts us to past spaces. Are we violating the space or honouring the past inhabitant? How does the arc of time change our relationship to these abandoned environments? 


Date: Tuesday 10 August 

Time: 5:00 PM (UK time)

Register here for this event


Laura Migliorino was born in Cleveland Ohio, and grew up in Chicago Heights, a Chicago suburb. Migliorino's BFA is from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA is from the University of Minnesota. She is a Professor of Art at Anoka-Ramsey Community College near Minneapolis. Migliorino has received numerous grants from the Jerome Foundation, several Minnesota State Arts Board grants, and various exhibition prizes. In 2017 Migliorino was the Community College Humanities Affiliated Fellow at The American Academy in Rome. Migliorino is Fulbright Fellow at The British Library in 2021. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center, Weisman Museum in Minneapolis, The Minnesota Center for Book Arts and The Warehouse in Atlanta. She has exhibited internationally for over 30 years. Migliorino’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, DOMUS Magazine, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and DWELL Magazine. 

Makoto Takahashi is a Lecturer at the Munich Centre for Technology in Society, TUM and an incoming Fulbright-Lloyd’s Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. His core interests lie in how societies come to understand technological risks and how they decide who can credibly inform policy. He received his PhD from Cambridge University, writing his thesis on how expert authority is claimed in conditions of low public trust, with an empirical focus on the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. He is currently curating a photography exhibit titled Picturing the Invisible, which will open at the Royal Geographical Society later this year. 


Across the Pond is a new initiative from the US-UK Fulbright Commission presenting transatlantic conversations between scholars, covering a wide range of topics that showcase the range of interests of this year’s cohort of Fulbright Scholars. Keep an eye out for future events in the series running through the summer and early autumn.