Valerie Kolowratnik

architect and researcher

Nina Valerie Kolowratnik is an architect and PhD researcher within the Human Rights Centre at Ghent University, Belgium. Her doctoral research focuses on Indigenous peoples’ knowledge in human rights courts and the impact of its evidentiary regimes on access to justice and knowledge representation. Following her postgraduate studies at Columbia University, New York, she founded a research and advocacy practice that develops spatial notation systems in the context of forced migration, cultural claims to territory, and indigenous rights. Kolowratnik’s book, The Language of Secret Proof: Indigenous Truth and Representation (2019), examines evidence production and cultural secrecy within Native American land claims and presents a set of alternative evidentiary drawings—developed with members and elders of Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico—that respect and work within a culture organized around secrecy. Recently Kolowratnik’s work has been shown at Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna; Rotor Center for Contemporary Art, Graz; and Stacion CCA Prishtina among others. Kolowratnik currently lives and works in Vienna.