Workshop on “Nuclear fun: banalising the atom in public display”, Barcelona, Spain

June 21-22, 2017 Tatiana Kasperski and co-organizers Jaume Sastre-Juan and Jaume Valentines-Álvarez held a workshop on “Nuclear fun: banalising the atom in public display” at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. Can nuclear technologies be fun? This was the central question that the participants tried to answer in a series of papers covering the experiences of England, Spain, Portugal, Ukraine and elsewhere. Since the 1950s, the circulation and social acceptance of nuclear technologies has not only been shaped and mediated by techno-utopian dreams of cornucopian abundance and the awe of technological sublime, but also by a playful familiarisation seeking to overcome resistance, distrust and fear of an apocalyptic future. The goal of the workshop was to explore the history of ‘nuclear fun’ and to analyse the role of entertainment, ludic and participatory displays in shaping the cultural representation and the material proliferation of nuclear technologies.