Press release, Jun 2, 2021

Exhibition Investigative Commons opens on June 9

Exhibition
June 9, 2021-August 8, 2021
Foyer of HKW

Public program
July 3, 2021, 4-11pm
Roof terrace and online

Press tour
June 9, 2021, 12 noon, Foyer of HKW
with Dimitra Andritsou (Forensic Architecture), Anselm Franke (HKW) and Wolfgang Kaleck (ECCHR)

In response to the rise of the neo-fascist “post-truth” epistemology societies have desperately clung to the traditional pillars of power-knowledge – state institutions, legal systems and the police. But how should civil society react when those institutions themselves are responsible for crimes, state-terror and cover-ups? Investigative Commons presents investigations by Forensic Architecture, ECCHR, and their partners across civil society, from the US, to Palestine, to Papua. Together, these investigations propose new models for collaborative truth-production and counter-investigation.

In the face of this ‘insurgency against truth’, the Investigative Commons, a pioneering collaboration between journalists, investigators, reporters, artists, lawyers, activists, architects, scientists, and cultural institutions, will build upon the legacy of decisive interventions by two leading human rights organisations Forensic Architecture and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and their partners.

The exhibition Investigative Commons showcases new models for truth-production and investigative aesthetics, bringing together open source investigation, “counter-forensics” and strategic human rights litigation, and grounding those approaches in the experience of communities and individuals suffering state violence, repression, and neo-colonialism. It aims to carry those new models into multiple forums: courts, cultural institutions, citizens’ tribunals, and media platforms. Combining the situated knowledge of survivors of violence and dispossession with the toolkits of investigative reporters, whistle-blowers, activists, lawyers, scientists, artists, architects and cultural institutions, the exhibition presents casework that confronts urgent contemporary issues: racist policing and border regimes, cyber-surveillance, environmental violence, the ongoing violence of colonialism and the complicity of institutions in them.

The exhibition and accompanying program mark the launch of Investigative Commons, an interdisciplinary practice initiated by Forensic Architecture, FORENSIS and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) which includes amongst others Laura Poitras/Praxis Films, Bellingcat and HKW. Further, they introduce FORENSIS, a new Berlin-based association founded by Forensic Architecture, named after its inaugural exhibition at HKW in 2014, which will sit at the heart of the Investigative Commons.

More information: hkw.de/en/investigativecommons

Collaborating partners of Investigative Commons are Forensic Architecture, FORENSIS, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Bellingcat, Praxis Films, Mnemonic and HKW.

Socializing Evidence
July 3, 2021, 4-11pm
Roof terrace and online

The Investigative Commons operates across multiple forums: courts, cultural institutions and media platforms. In the discourse program Socializing Evidence, artists, activist and researchers will examine each of these platforms as sites of action, intervention, debate and contestation. Each site presents different challenges and demands for a critical practice that shifts between appropriation, subversion and direct confrontation.

The program will also include the public launch of a major new collaborative investigation that – together with Laura Poitras, The Citizen Lab and Amnesty International, and dozens of human rights defenders worldwide – maps the global landscape of cyber-surveillance against civil society actors by the Israeli cyber surveillance company NSO Group, demonstrating the work of the commons in practice.

With Anselm Franke, Wolfgang Kaleck, Laura Poitras, Christina Varvia, Eyal Weizman and many more.

Press tour

On Wednesday, June 9, there will be a press tour for Investigative Commons at 12 noon in the Foyer of HKW. Speakers include:

Dimitra Andritsou, Researcher Forensic Architecture
Anselm Franke, Head of Visual Arts and Film HKW
Wolfgang Kaleck, Secretary-General ECCHR

Register via

Press photos: hkw.de/pressphotos

About Forensic Architecture

Forensic Architecture (FA) is a pioneering investigative research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2010, FA has developed original and ground-breaking investigative techniques and deployed them in over seventy bold and impactful investigations. FA works to pursue accountability for state and corporate violence alongside the affected communities, activists, legal teams. Its work has been equally presented in national and international courts, in truth commissions, major media outlets, and in world-leading art and cultural venues.
forensic-architecture.org

About European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

ECCHR is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by Wolfgang Kaleck and other international human rights lawyers to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other human rights declarations and national constitutions, through legal means. Together with those affected and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity for those responsible for torture, war crimes, sexual and gender-based violence, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.
ecchr.eu

Current opening hours: Daily, except Tuesdays, 12 noon – 8 pm

Time-slot tickets are available at hkw.de/tickets.

An exhibition visit is possible only with a negative coronavirus test taken within 24 hours of the time of admission or proof of completed, full vaccination protection or by showing a PCR test that can be used to prove a past case of COVID-19. These proofs do not exempt visitors from the mask requirement and other hygienic and distancing rules. Information for visitors at hkw.de/besuch.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and by the Federal Foreign Office.