Discursive

15 November 2018, 19.30-21.30

Propositions #7/3: Testify

Saydnaya, 2016, courtesy Forensic Architecture

With Ana Naomi de Sousa (Forensic Architecture, London) and Migrant 2 Migrant Foundation, Amsterdam

Despite their cultural prevalence in the past century, photography and video imagery have only recently been incorporated as legitimate forms of evidence in justice systems. Yet once they were, it became increasingly difficult to substantiate any legal claim without such forms of media. The witness testimony—the historical epitome of juridical proceedings—has seemingly fallen by the wayside in favor of more robust, less forgetful evidentiary materials. Not every crime is, or can be, captured in an image, however, and lived experience is still a privileged type of event-based knowledge. What is needed today is not a diminution of the human voice, but creative means of its amplification.

Focusing on the evidentiary method of the testimony, Ana Naomi de Sousa presents Saydnaya, 2016, the reconstruction of a Syrian torture prison of which there are no images. Papa Sakho and Jo van der Spek bring into the discussion the Migrant 2 Migrant Foundation’s ongoing response to the Schipholbrand, the 2005 fire in which eleven migrants died while being trapped in an airport detention complex.

Part of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods

Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020)—expands upon the notion of forensic justice in a series of lectures, screenings, and workshops on methodologies for articulating claims within the multidimensional space of aesthetics, law, architecture, politics, and ecology. The series deepens the understanding of works by, or made in collaboration with, Forensic Architecture, including investigations that are not presented in the exhibition. Focusing on techniques and innovative evidentiary methods at the intersection of law, art, politics, and the changing media landscape employed in the forensic practice, the gatherings create a space for dialogue and exchange between concrete cases examined by Forensic Architecture and other ongoing political struggles in the Netherlands and beyond. The series is conceived in collaboration with Nick Axel (architectural theorist, Amsterdam).

Made possible by

Suggestions from the archive

Exhibition

Screening

2 May 2021

Fragments of Repair/Gathering II: The Body’s Legacies, Part 2: The Postcolonial Body (online)

The second gathering of Fragments of Repair/Gatherings consists of a screening of artist Kader Attia’s work The Body’s Legacies, Part 2: The Postcolonial Body (video, 2018, 48 min.), followed by a conversation between Olivier Marboeuf (writer, critic, and curator, Paris) and Ruth Wilson Gilmore (abolitionist scholar and activist, Lisbon).

Public Program

Podcast and sound installation

17 April–03 July 2021

Fragments of Repair: Repair & Listen

Throughout the duration of the project Fragments of Repair, Kader Attia engages in creating a new eponymous work in the form of a gradually unfolding podcast and sound installation in twelve parts, titled Repair & Listen. Drawing on transcultural epistemologies and lived experiences, the podcast investigates “repair” as a concrete practice to counter the psychological impact of living through a pandemic. The episodes of the podcast will become available on this page, throughout the duration of Fragments of Repair.