Contemporary conflict increasingly takes place in densely populated and mediatised environments. Accounts of human rights violations that occur within them abound, but are often distorted or simply muted by official narratives. Investigative access to these sites is primarily a privilege of the state.
Forensic architecture, a multidisciplinary research agency based in Goldsmiths, University of London, undertakes spatio-temporal analysis of crime scenes in an attempt to procure otherwise obscured pieces of evidence, and make them available for public dialogue. In a world of alternative facts and increasing surveillance the group inverts the gaze through an investigative practice that cross-pollinates the fields of activism, academia, technology and aesthetics.
This lecture followed by a workshop will take participants through recent Forensic Architecture projects in order to offer an insight into the group’s research methods and challenges.
The lecture and workshop by Simone Rowat and Stefanos Levidis has been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Arts – Skopje as part of their interdisciplinary program Radical Education in collaboration with the British Council, as part of their PLAYUK program. Their biographies can be found bellow.
Forensic Architecture (FA) is a multidisciplinary research agency, based at Goldsmiths, University of London. FA undertakes advanced architectural and media research into state crimes and human rights violations on behalf of international prosecutors, human rights organisations and political and environmental justice groups. In recent years, FA has successfully tested its methodologies in a number of landmark legal and human rights cases undertaken together with and on behalf of threatened communities, NGOs, prosecutors and the UN. The main beneficiaries of the work FA is doing are always the victims of human rights violations, and communities in conflict zones or otherwise subject to state failure or violence. FA’s evidence files, taking the shape of models, drawings, maps, web-based interactive cartographies, films, and animations have also been exhibited in leading cultural and art institutions.
The FA have been nominated for the 2018 Turner Prize. The nomination is for their participation in documenta14, and for their solo shows ‘Counter Investigations’ at the ICA, London, and ‘Towards an Investigative Aesthetic’ at MUAC, Mexico, and MACBA, Barcelona.
Simone Rowat is an artist and filmmaker at Forensic Architecture. She graduated from the Fine Art Photography pathway at Royal College of Art with a previous degree from The Slade School of Fine Art at University College London. Her film practice is concerned with traumatic memory, simulation and neuroplasticity. Simone joined the Forensic Architecture team in 2016 where she helped with the production of videos of witness testimonies from Saydnaya prison in Syria.
Stefanos Levidis completed his architectural studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, and holds a Masters degree from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalunya, where he also taught design and digital/robotic fabrication. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University. His work operates between theory, spacial practice, film and activism and has been applied in the field and exhibited internationally. Stefanos has been a researcher at Forensic Architecture since October 2016.
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