Nuclear Spring

Or: How I Learned to Start Worrying about the Bomb and Helping Others Becoming Aware 

Research-creation residency

Nuclear Knowledges program (Sciences Po - CERI) funded by EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium (20.02.2023-23.06.2023) 

The goal of the residency project was to elaborate, in close collaboration with Benoît Pelopidas, and using a research-creation approach, an audio/sound artistic production addressing the inadequacy between what is known about nuclear vulnerabilities and what citizens believe.

This research period enabled me to conceive a sound creation project and collect the data that grounds the information required to display in the installation, based on sonification and spatialization: Our Things.


At the Nuclear Knowledges research center, I discovered the concept of nuclear winter: first highlighted in the 1980s, it describes the predicted effect of several nuclear bombs causing global and long-lasting cooling of the earth's climate, since the aerosols injected into the stratosphere by the nuclear explosions would absorbed solar radiation. The title of my research-creation residency at Nuclear Knowledges (CERI, Sciences Po) also thumbs its nose at skeptics of this scenario, who claim that it would cause a much lighter effect they called a "nuclear autumn". It also refers ironically to the current context of modernization and perpetuation of arsenals on an international scale: nuclear weapons seem to be blooming again.

In half a day, humanity as we know it can be brought to an end, even as we continue to amplify our destructive capacities, and yet I'm aiming at creating art to help people become aware of the danger, while avoiding approaches just horrifying people. In this regard, the subtitle of this report is a nod to Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Sharing knowledge on social media

Next to my learning and creation work, I started a quiz on the social network Instagram, via Instagram « stories" entitled Nukes Quiz. Such an endeavor revealed to form a compact and stimulating corpus of questions and facts, which was found useful as pedagogical tools by Benoît, as well as by two other members of the Nuclear Knowledges team, PhD student Thomas Fraise and Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow Sanne Verschuren. 

Workshop at CERI Sciences Po (21.06.2023)

I presented the project and received particularly enriching insights and questioning from Austin Cooper (Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow in the MIT Security Studies Program), Sanne Verschuren (Marie Skodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow), Thomas Fraise (PhD Candidate and research affiliate at the Nuclear Knowledges program, CERI, Sciences Po), Louise Beaumais (PhD candidate in IR, CERI, Sciences Po), Frédéric Bevilacqua (Head Researcher, Sound- Music-Movement Interaction team, URM STMS IRCAM-CNRS-Sorbonne Université), Christine Fassert (Socio-anthropologist, working on the political and institutional strategies of risk management and their consequences on populations and environments, in particular in the processes of knowledge production and the role of science. Laboratoire Technique,Territoires et Sociétés, UMR 8134, Université Gustave Eiffel), Sterre van Buren (research assistant, ERC, Nuclear Knowledges Program) and Benoît Pelopidas (Founding director of the Nuclear Knowledges program, CERI, Sciences Po). They unanimously recognized the originality of both the approach and contribution the project represented, and encouraged me to carry it out through its completion.