Mirko Winkel is the coordinator of the mLAB. The artist and curator teaches at the University of Bern and other places with the aim of synthesizing art with scientific research and socio-political concerns.



Susan Thieme is professor of Critical Sustainability Studies at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern. She brought the Global Science Film Festival to Bern and co-developed the Social Learning Video Method. She is co-founder of the mLAB.  MORE



Carolin Schurr is professor of Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. As a feminist geographer, she has developed and experimented with affectual and visual methods to grasp the emotional effects of globalization processes on our intimate lives. She is co-founder of the mLAB.  MORE



Alexander Vorbrugg is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in Critical Sustainability Studies at the University of Bern. His research interests include visual forms of research and science communication. He is part of the coordination group of the mLAB. MORE



Laura Perler is a postdoctoral researcher in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. In her research she investigates inequalities in relation to reproductive technologies and the Swiss asylum system. In her projects she uses audiovisual approaches and collaborates with artists. Together with Mirko Winkel, she is currently organizing a traveling exhibition on egg donation. She is part of the coordination group of the mLAB. MORE



Stefan Brönnimann is a professor in Climatology at the University of Bern. His research focuses on weather and climate reconstruction, climate models, climate dynamics, effects of volcanic eruptions on climate and climate and society interactions. MORE



Elisabeth Militz is an Assistant Professor for Social and Digital Geographies at the University of Innsbruck. As a feminist political and cultural geographer, her focus lies on global/intimate relations and digital transformations. She experiments with affectual and feminist digital methodologies for human geographies. MORE



Adrien Mestrot is a professor in Soil Science at the University of Bern. Part of his research topics is analyzing the biogeochemistry of soils under global change to improve environmental health and food production.  MORE



Nora Komposch is a PhD student and assistant in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. Her research interests are geographies of the body, care and reproduction, migration and labor, and politics of the global intimate. MORE



Johanna Paschen is a PhD student in Critical Sustainability Studies at the University of Bern. Her research interests include social and environmental justice, transdisciplinarity and artistic research. In cooperation with the Academy of the Arts Bern, she is involved with the research project EcoArtLab. MORE



Luca Tschiderer is a PhD student in Critical Sustainability Studies at the University of Bern. His research focuses on alternative practices of work in health- and care related contexts. As part of his PhD project he uses social learning videos as a participatory method towards workers inquiry. MORE



Sarah Hartmann is a Postdoc student in Critical Sustainability Studies at the University of Bern. Her research looks at issues around work, transnational mobilities and future transformations in healthcare from a critical sustainability perspective. MORE

flughafen putzen

Digital Geographies of the Global Intimate


Digitalization and globalization processes have not only fundamentally changed our everyday lives, but are also impacting the most intimate fields of our lives – the ways we love, have sex, reproduce, understand our bodies, care for and are cared for by each other, etc. In this seminar, we engage with these profound upheavals brought about by the intertwining of the global with the intimate through digitalization. As an alternative to traditional seminar work, we experiment with producing and editing audio feature to present content and research findings and make them accessible to a broader audience.

The students investigate the effects of digitalization and globalization on our intimate lives based on a concrete case study (e.g. organ transplantation, social media, couchsurfing, sex work, cycle app, digital activism, etc.). Students develop their own research project and employ social science research methods. Based on the material they collect and their data analyses they drafte a script and produce a 15-minute audio feature.


Take out your earphones and listen to students’ works (selection) below:


Visual geographies of beauty on Instagram

The students Thérèse Laubscher, Mauro Schmid and Daniela Friebel (2019) have produced an audio feature discussing beauty norms on Instagram. Choreographed as an engaged conversation between three students, they discuss the visual geographies of beauty and the role social media platforms such as Instagram play in shaping globally circulating beauty norms. They critically engage with the hashtag #curvy and ask peers about their experiences of sharing and consuming (body image related) content on Instagram.


Experiencing global intimacy through the cycle app Flo

Experiencing global intimacy through using the cycle tracking app Flo, the audio feature produced by Lara Siegenthaler, Tobias Zehr and Luca Gianom (2021), reveals the intimate affordances of digitally tracking one’s menstruation. They ask how it feels to share intimate data about topics such as menstruation with the global digital public and explore questions about the risks of tracking menstruation with the app Flo. They provide space for young people’s experiences with tracking their menstruation and share interesting background information, such as the fact that Flo emerged from a Belarussian start-up in 2015.


Next Stop Couchsurfing

The bustling sounds of a train station, chirping birds in the neighborhood, the creak of the apartment door, the gurgling coffee machine on the stove, the comforting rustle of a down pillow….

Nina Etter, Leonie Haller and Lena Widmer (2021) take the audience on a couchsurfing journey. They interviewed five members of the couchsurfing community and asked them to share their experiences with this type of global intimate travel.



Intimate Instagram posts that tell of the global

An audio feature that makes feminism audible. Mirjam Ackermann, Fabienne Luder and Fabienne Rigert (2021) met the creators of @madame_phila, an Instagram account from Bern that tells of real experiences with sexism and other forms of discrimination through comics (in German and English). Madame Phila is an imaginary character that tells of everyday experiences and encounters, of sexual abuse, emotional and physical assault, of sexist comments and the normalization of gendered and sexualized violence in the family, in partnerships, among friends, in society. The audio feature discusses the ways in which Instagram is a platform for activism and bears potential for social transformation.