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Forensic Architecture

Violence at the Threshold of Detectability

Eyal Weizman

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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Recht


In recent years, a little-known research group named Forensic Architecture began using novel research methods to undertake a series of investigations into human rights abuses. Today, the group provides crucial evidence for international courts and works with a wide range of activist groups, NGOs, Amnesty International, and the UN.

Beyond shedding new light on human rights violations and state crimes across the globe, Forensic Architecture has also created a new form of investigative practice that bears its name. The group uses architecture as an optical device to investigate armed conflicts and environmental destruction, as well as to cross-reference a variety of evidence sources, such as new media, remote sensing, material analysis, witness testimony, and crowd-sourcing.

In Forensic Architecture, Eyal Weizman, the group’s founder, provides, for the first time, an in-depth introduction to the history, practice, assumptions, potentials, and double binds of this practice. The book includes an extensive array of images, maps, and detailed documentation that records the intricate work the group has performed.

Included in this volume are case studies that traverse multiple scales and durations, ranging from the analysis of the shrapnel fragments in a room struck by drones in Pakistan, the reconstruction of a contested shooting in the West Bank, the architectural recreation of a secret Syrian detention center from the memory of its survivors, a blow-by-blow account of a day-long battle in Gaza, and an investigation of environmental violence and climate change in the Guatemalan highlands and elsewhere.

Weizman’s Forensic Architecture, stunning and shocking in its critical narrative, powerful images, and daring investigations, presents a new form of public truth, technologically, architecturally, and aesthetically produced. Their practice calls for a transformative politics in which architecture as a field of knowledge and a mode of interpretation exposes and confronts ever-new forms of state violence and secrecy.

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Decolonization, Hamas, Edward Said, Culture and Society, Jonathan Simon, Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, Crime, Desertification, Habeas corpus, Neve Gordon, 2003 invasion of Iraq, Caroline Sturdy Colls, Forensic science, Lawfare, Pallywood, Catastrophism, Internment, Arab Spring, Prisoner of war, V., War crime, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, Threads, International Criminal Court, Michael Sfard, Ruins, IRIN, Transitional justice, Jameel Jaffer, Bedouin, Taliban, Michael Oren, Reprieve (organisation), Euthanasia, Mold, Physical Evidence, Phrenology, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Amnesty law, Zionism, Imperialism, Naomi Klein, Reprisal, Disenchantment, Dirty War, Francoist Spain, Institute for National Security Studies (Israel), Law of war, Regavim (NGO), Deborah Lipstadt, B'Tselem, Hannibal Directive, 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, House demolition, International humanitarian law, Palestine Liberation Organization, Of Human Action, Breaking the Silence (non-governmental organization), Cesare Lombroso, Forensic Architecture, Redlining, Assassination, Nuremberg trials, Human Rights Watch, Gaza War (2008–09), Negev, War, 1982 Lebanon War, United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, Insurgency, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Amnesty International, Collateral damage, The Other Hand, Agent Orange, Gilad Shalit, Marc Garlasco, Squatting, Palestinians, Coroner, Israel Land Authority, Denis Cosgrove, Syrian Desert, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Wiping, Fred A. Leuchter, Robert Jan van Pelt, Rodney King, Adolf Eichmann, Rafah, Gas chamber, Holocaust denial, Mordechai Vanunu, Drone strikes in Pakistan, Meron Benvenisti, Chetniks, Warfare, Suicide attack, Hitler Diaries, Drought