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ISR Public Event: 18th May 2021

The Atom: A Love Affair

Followed by Q&A with the Film maker, Vicki Lesley,
and author and nuclear psychogeographer, Dr Philippa Holloway

Watch the Q&A here: Youtube ISR Playlist

The UK, and indeed the world, is again facing difficult decisions regarding investment in, or alternatives to, Nuclear Power. Recent debate over the financial, social, and environmental impacts of the proposed Wylfa B site in North Wales perhaps provides a comprehensive case study of the pros and cons of re-investing in what was once seen as the future for green and sustainable energy, while the ever increasing cost of waste removal, storage, and decommissioning of Nuclear Power Stations is only now being fully realised. Disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima still pose technical, environmental and social challenges years after the events themselves, and will do so for generations to come.

The Atom: a Love Affair is a sweeping story of technological obsession, political imperatives and powerful, conflicting passions. The film is an ambitious international feature documentary spanning more than 7 decades and 5 different countries, exploring the West’s rollercoaster love-hate relationship with nuclear power since the end of World War 2. It’s a dramatic tale of belief, betrayal, intrigue and hope, told by the scientists, engineers, politicians and campaigners who experienced it first-hand.

This film explores the narratives that have, and continue, to inform societal beliefs and political decisions regarding the place of nuclear energy in both local and global policy and landscapes, and challenges the viewer to question how their own knowledge and ideas may be fomented.

Following the screening we are joined by the Film maker, Vicki Lesley, and author and nuclear psychogeographer, Dr Philippa Holloway for audience Q&A.

Both the film, and the Q and A, will enable guests to explore their own social responsibilities, and that of governments, regarding the demand for electricity, the NIMBY effect, and the potential hazards and hubris of the nuclear industry.

We look forward to welcoming you to the event!

This event takes place Online (a secure link will be distributed following registration).

Date: Tuesday 18th May 2021

6.30pm Welcome and Introduction (BST)
6.45pm Film screening
8.30pm Q&A
9.00pm Event close

Venue: Online (a secure link will be distributed following registration).

Registration: This event is FREE but please click here to register your place.


Vicki Lesley
Vicki has been working in documentaries for over 20 years. She has developed and made top-rated & award-winning TV shows for broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Discovery & National Geographic and directed independent short films which have screened at festivals around the world and online. Her debut feature documentary was released in 2020.

Dr Philippa Holloway 
Philippa is an author and researcher examining psychogeographic responses to nuclear power stations/nuclearity. She has worked collaboratively with visual and digital artists on the Power in the Land art collaborative, and was commissioned to curate and contribute to a special feature of essays and poetry responding to the closure of Wylfa power station and the Power in the Land Exhibition for the New Welsh Reader. She was invited to contribute to the AHRC funded Material Cultures of energy project, and the Energy Communications Toolkit. Her PhD took her to Wylfa and Chernobyl where she undertook embodied psychogeographic research, and the resulting work, The Half-life of Snails, is due for publication with Parthian in 2022. She is the Writer in Residence at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker.


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