Living with Disaster

Living with Disaster is a project directed by Isaac Kerlow and funded primarily by the AXA Research Fund. The project shows how people have lived near disaster-prone areas throughout the ages and what survival strategies they have developed, followed or ignored. It provides a qualitative characterization of risk across cultures using case studies of different natural hazards throughout multiple continents and centuries.

Only five AXA Outlook projects were awarded by the AXA Research Fund 2015 Scientific Committee, and Living with Disaster is the only one headed by a filmmaker.


Understanding risk from natural hazards and within different geographical contexts is not only a knowledge problem: it is also a communications challenge. That is a major motivation behind this project because we believe that better informed communities living in hazardous areas will be more resilient than those lacking understanding. Living with Disaster presents a multimedia scenario showcasing the experiences of inhabitants of cities in multiple continents throughout the centuries. The importance of proactive preparedness in facing disaster is a constant thread throughout the project.

Funding Sources: 

  • AXA Research Fund

Project Years: