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In the face of contemporary disaster scenarios – from tsunamis and Fukushima to stock markets crashes and bird flue – art and popular culture have a lot to offer us. Beyond the sensationalistic treatment in mainstream mass media, their treatments of catastrophic events contain significant analyses and reflections on the multiple and complex effects that these events have on human existence, civil society and the ecology of the planet. They constitute a fundamental, yet advanced language – developed over hundreds, even thousands of years – with which to critically address the emptiness, confusion and fear that disasters present us with, imagined or actual. So rather than maintaining the distinction between the disasters in art and popular culture and real life disasters, saying that the fictions of the former are of no use in relation to the realities of the latter, we need to connect the two in order to become more “disaster literate”. And in order to do so, we must employ all human experience on disasters in the name of producing resilience, hope and further visions. X AND BEYOND is engaged with exactly that.