Evidence and Human Rights in a Post Truth World: Eyal Weizman and the Forensic Architecture Project

A workshop and discussion with Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Nathan Su (UCLA). Part 2 of the two-part series “Evidence and Human Rights in a Post-Truth World: A Multidisciplinary Symposium."

Evidence and Human Rights in a Post Truth World: Eyal Weizman and the Forensic Architecture Project

Forensic Architecture's reconstruction of a drone strike in Miranshah, Pakistan. (Photo: Forensic Architecture; cropped. Reprinted with permission.)

Saturday, February 22, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

248 Dodd Hall

Note: Eyal Weizman, who was denied permission to enter the US, will be participating in this workshop via video-conference.

About the speakers:

Nathan Su is a lecturer at the UCLA Architecture and Urban Design. He is a speculative designer who works between media and architecture. He is co-founder of Inferstudio – an interdisciplinary world building practice. Inferstudio works through film, image and writing to critically imagine and investigate risks and opportunities on our shared technological, cultural and environmental horizons. In recent years, Nathan has worked as a project coordinator for Forensic Architecture in London, UK, where his research focused on developing new tools and workflows for dynamic image and video analysis.

Eyal Weizman is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures and founding director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2010 he founded the research agency Forensic Architecture and directs it ever since. The work of the agency is documented in the exhibition and book FORENSIS (Sternberg, 2014), as well as in Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (Zone/MIT, 2017) and in numerous exhibitions world wide. In 2007 he set up, with Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, the architectural collective DAAR in Beit Sahour/Palestine. This work is documented in the book Architecture after Revolution (Sternberg, 2014). In 2013 he designed a permanent folly in Gwangju, South Korea which was documented in the book The Roundabout Revolution (Sternberg, 2015). His other books include The Conflict Shoreline (Steidl and Cabinet, 2015), Mengele’s Skull (Sternberg, 2012), The Least of all Possible Evils (Verso, 2011), Hollow Land (Verso, 2007), A Civilian Occupation (Verso, 2003). Weizman is on the editorial board of Third Text, Humanity, Cabinet and Political Concepts and is on the board of directors of the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) and on the Technology Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. He previously sat on the advisory boards of the ICA in London and B’Tselem in Jerusalem, amongst others. He graduated in architecture in 1998 from the Architectural Association in London and completed his PhD at the London Consortium/Birkbeck College in 2006.

Invited discussants:

Dana Cuff (UCLA, Architecture/Urban Design and Urban Planning)
Miwon Kwon (UCLA, Art History)
Saree Makdisi (UCLA, English and Comparative Literature)

This workshop concludes Part 2 of the series “Evidence and Human Rights in a Post-Truth World: A Multidisciplinary Symposium" taking place on February 21 and 22, 2020. Part 1 of the series took place on January 16 and 17, 2020.

About the series:

The arena of human rights documentation has never been more critical to global justice, and is also undergoing radical change as a result of new systems of evidentiary production inspired by satellite and other innovative information technologies. Geospatial and sensing technologies include a range of tools used in the discovery, collection, presentation, analysis and management of location-based data. These tools are changing how we see and interpret suffering bodies, infrastructural destruction and cultural as well as human genocide. They are raising questions about whether mass atrocities and other violence committed against large numbers of civilians are demonstrable and prosecutable through new digital forms of forensic practice. At the same time, they raise the hopes and expectations of survivors of victims and the missing, who are clamoring for evidence collected by citizens and NGOs to be accorded the same evidentiary authority as that created by government authorities.

This two-part lecture/workshop series explores the politics, aesthetics, affect, and interpretation of geospatial images as well as the architectures of knowledge production and the challenges that emerge when using these technologies. By inviting key leaders in the field for two 2-day events during Winter Quarter 2020 (January 16-17 and February 21-22), we will engage in discussion concerning how social scientists, lawyers, human rights advocates, architects and artists use these technologies to produce composite knowledge about critical events.

Organizers (UCLA): Kamari Clarke (Anthropology), Anne Gilliland (Graduate School of Education & Information Studies/Archival Studies), Laurie Kain Hart (Anthropology/Global Studies), Saloni Mathur (Art History), Susan Slyomovics (Anthropology/Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)

Cost : Free and open to the public. RSVP required for admission.

Sponsor(s): Center for European and Russian Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Anthropology, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Art History, The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law, UCLA School of Arts and Architecture, UCLA Arts Initiative, UCLA Interdisciplinary and Cross Campus Affairs, The Wende Museum