Grit Ruhland

Effects of uranium mining on the landscape around Gera / Ronneburg

Grit Ruhland’s doctoral thesis is exploring the consequences of uranium mining in the area around the former mining region of the Wismut SAG / SDAG in Ronneburg (East Thuringia), East Germany. The artist views her topic from historical, social, cultural-anthropological and artistic perspectives, and places it in the context of the worldwide requirements of the nuclear industry, and the effects of uranium mining and its consequences. The thesis explains how a uranium mining landscape is created, and what knowledge is important for an adequate understanding of the phenomenon.

Ruhland examines whether art can make a relevant contribution in dealing with the uranium mining landscape. She discusses artworks that have dealt with related topics. Combining these two main aspects, the thesis investigates the question which factors shape the uranium mining landscape and whether there are meaningful fields of participation for artistic research and which conditions would have to be met for this.

The work also contains field research, interviews and the description and application of a method called “random-structured landscape observation”. Grit Ruhlands core statement is that artistic work in the field of uranium mining can make relevant contributions under certain conditions.