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Rafael Dernbach


Rafael Dernbach is a researcher in media studies and future studies at the Locarno Film Festival Chair for the Future of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts. His research is in the medial construction of futures and emerging media environments. He works on the question of how cinematic and post-cinematic experiences frame anticipations of the future.

Previously, he worked as Director of Emerging Narratives at fischerAppelt advisors in Berlin, where he established a research unit on narrative strategy and foresight practices. He was a researcher and strategist at Europe's first future museum Futurium in Berlin. In 2018, he completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge as a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar on the post-cinematic art of Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl and Neil Beloufa. He was a visiting researcher at Princeton University in 2016 and at Freie Universität Berlin in 2015.

He has been developing experimental teaching formats at the University of Cambridge, Humboldt Universität Berlin and at the Smart City Programme at Macromedia University Berlin. His interests include cultures of anticipation, narrative foresight and contemporary theories of design and visual culture.

In 2022, he curated a 24h long conversation on the Future of Attention at the Locarno Film Festival.