Portrait of  Francesca Cavallo

Francesca Cavallo

GCDC Affiliate Student, School of Arts


I am researcher, curator and art critic, currently teaching Contemporary Art History at the University of Kent where I am conducting a PhD on the aesthetics of risk. Previously I have worked for Organising Disaster, a research project lead by Goldsmith College Department of Sociology and funded by the ERC and have curated the exhibition Risk at Turner Contemporary, Margate. I have also worked in community developments and art related projects in the UK, US, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Lebanon and Uruguay.

Research interests

Today the ubiquitous guidance, warnings and protocols of risk management construct possible futures as risks to be managed. How is this need to manage risk transforming the contemporary visual language? Are its rhetorics of danger, reassurance or rationality effectively convincing us that we are prepared? Can art reconcile us with these issues and be a safe space for constructing resilience? My PhD thesis, entitled, 'Sensing it Coming: regarding the aesthetic of risk', focuses on the rhetorics of risk from the perspective of art and visual culture, examining warnings, instructions, drills and data visualisations across risk and art.

My work explores and critiques how the world as we know it is shaped by the way design, technology and science are mobilised to radically transform people’s habits and decisions when it comes to public health and risk. In its comparative approach, it provides insights on how different ODA countries such as Mexico and India promote safe habits and how their models of resilience differ from more affluent countries such as the UK and the US.


Supervised by: Dr Michael Newall (School of Arts) and Prof Adam Burgess (SSPSSR).

Last updated 8th June 2020