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Black Holes and Forensic Imagination: a Narrative with/out Images

Principal Investigator:

VW-Stiftung, Förderinitiative "Originalitätsverdacht?"

Nov 16, 2018 — Nov 15, 2019

Black Holes and Forensic Imagination: a Narrative with/out Images

Forced disappearance tends to create ‚black holes‘ in human imagination. The project aims to ‚fill in‘ these voids by constructing a counter-narrative on extreme violence and its processing. The terror of disappearing communicates, during dictatorships but also in the violence crisis of our present, the absolute power over human condition. The project takes forensic practices, as exercised by professionals but also by affected groups, as starting point for a strategy able to confront this terror narrative by one of rehumanization: returning the dead (body) into the social world, reconstructing invisibilized crime. By combining text and images (photography, video) the project explores and discusses the possibilities of narrating such complex forensic processes: Are images capable of violence and how to deal with it? What are the ethical, aesthetic and political implications of our own visual agency? Are dead bodies to be treated as persons and carriers of human rights? The visual corpus is provided by previous field research (2013-2018) on the subject. One of the central references is the Mexican scenery where new forensic landscapes are emerging. As result of a combined editing and writing process the project seeks to develop (incorporting expert knowledge on video edition and web design) a hybrid, web-based format of publication.