Speaker Profile


Leonor Pereira da Costa
Assistant Professor
Lusófona University.
Media affective atmospheres and the construction of vulnerability of animals in disasters

This presentation addresses how media report and construct the situation of animals in disasters, drawing on a specific case study: wildfires in Portugal. First, it asks what kind of affects are most produced when reporting about disasters, and animals therein, around which themes and species. Second, it explores how these media discourses produce specific affective atmospheres, and how they may lead to different depictions of impacted animals, portraying some species and individuals as more charismatic, resilient and prone to recuperation than others. Third, it relates these affective building blocks of portraying animals, with the invisibility of structural conditions that construct, in the long run, the vulnerability of both human and nonhuman species to disasters. In the end, it opens the discussion around the implications of such affective atmospheres to the production of effective and long-term engagement with relevant governance stakeholders in disaster risk prevention and rescue, such as politicians, civil protection officers and veterinarians.

[:en]Leonor Pereira da Costa concluded her PhD in Social Psychology at ISCTE and has a master’s degree in data mining and Data Analysis at ISCTE. Currently she is Assistant Professor at Lusófona University. Her interests are focused on intergroup relations and behaviors of inclusion and social exclusion in childhood, with special focus on social inequalities related to children's socioeconomic status.[:]