History of Art and Architecture

Isaiah Bertagnolli Presents at Royal Geographical Society's Annual International Conference

Graduate student Isaiah Bertagnolli will present his paper "Monuments to Eternity: Onkalo Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository and the Stepped Pyramid of Djoser" on a panel discussing geographies of nuclear energy at the Royal Geographical Society's Annual International Conference September 3rd. This paper investigates proposed nuclear waste site burial monuments as they intend to deter human intervention for many millennia. To consider the longevity of waste burial and the problems waste sites may encounter, this paper looks to the 4500-year-old funerary complex of Netjerikhet (Djoser) from 3rd Dynasty ancient Egypt. What is revealed is a history of tomb robbery, social turbulence, language death, and excavation which this paper argues should be more fully considered before constructing monumental nuclear waste site markers. This paper concludes by looking to the waste disposal alternative proposed by Finnish artists Erich Berger and Mari Keto in their work Open Care (2017), suggesting artists can make important contributions to discussions on nuclear waste disposal. Read about the annual interanational conference on Royal Geographical Society's website.