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Talk and Presentation: Liquid Traces

21/04/16 7:00 pm

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A digital map of accidents in the Mediterranean Sea.

Creative research agency Forensic Architecture (Goldsmiths, University of London) presents new investigations into boat accidents in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015, a year in which crossings led to unprecedented loss of life of people fleeing conflict by sea. Lorenzo Pezzani and Charles Heller show how they use this exciting emerging field of research to document and challenge the conditions that led to these tragedies.

Their project, Forensic Oceanography investigates the militarized border regime in the Mediterranean Sea. It analyzes the spatial and aesthetic conditions that have caused over 16.500 registered deaths at the maritime borders of Europe over the last 20 years. Together with a wide network of NGOs, scientists, journalists and activist groups, the project has produced maps, video animations, digital visualizations, human right reports and websites, including www.watchthemed.net. These attempt to document the violence perpetrated against migrants at sea and challenge the regime of visibility imposed by surveillance on this contested area.

The project has supported migrants and their families in their quest for justice in human rights and journalistic investigations. At the same time, Forensic Oceanography attempts to spark debate on the politics of image production in the age of surveillance and on what it means to produce images and sounds that become evidence of human rights violations.

Charles Heller is a researcher and filmmaker and researcher whose work has a long-standing focus on the politics of migration. With a PhD in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London, where he continues to be affiliated as a Research Fellow, he is currently based in Cairo conducting postdoctoral research into migration and refugee issues.

Lorenzo Pezzani is an architect based between London and northern Italy. His work deals with the spatial politics and visual cultures of migration, with a particular focus on the geography of the ocean. He holds a PhD in Research Architecture is currently post-doctoral fellow at the Kent School of Law.

This event is part of Mobile Horizons, a series of events curated by Tate Modern’s Nada Raza, to accompany the exhibition Sea Change.

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