Forensic Architecture. Towards a research aesthetic

Maps the different narratives told by the 43 students enforced disappearance
Ayotzinapa by Forensic Architecture. Towards a research aesthetic - Photo: Taken from MUAC website
Sonia Sierra
Mexico City
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In Iguala, Guerrero, in 2014, not only 43 young people disappeared, justice and the truth disappeared as well. False narrative creation and crime scene alteration ended up mutilating, dispersing, and disordering the truth. It was misinformation amidst promise to inform.

Forensic Architecture, a little-known research group, began using interdisciplinary research methods to undertake a series of investigations into human rights abuses.

The group uses architecture and aesthetics as methodological devices to investigate armed conflicts and environmental destruction, and to cross-reference new media, remote sensing, material investigation, and witness testimony.

Forensic Architecture has worked with a wide range of activist groups, non-governmental organizations ( NGOs), Amnesty International, and the United Nations shedding new light on human rights violations and state crimes across the globe.

The group examines how public truth is produced, technologically, architecturally and aesthetically, how it can be used to confront state propaganda and secrets, and how to expose newer forms of state violence.

Forensic Architecture was created by Eyal Weizman (Haifa, 1970) in 2010 at Goldsmiths, University of London. Architects, artists, activists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, and filmmakers are part of this peculiar group who, with the aid of technology, information, and architecture, build new perspectives on violence in places as far away as Syria, Mexico, Pakistan and Gaza.

Forensic Architecture was commissioned by the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense abbreviated EAAF) and the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez abbreviated Centro Prodh) to map the different narratives of the different actors involved "in one of the events in the recent history of Mexico", as Rosario Güiraldes describes it, curator of the exhibition Forensic Architecture. Towards an investigative aesthetics at the University Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo abbreviated MUAC) from September 9 to January 7, 2018.

 Photo: Taken from MUAC website

Guiraldes explains that Forensic Architecture has transformed a series of available material such as telephone records, reported incidents, and videos, into a map that intertwines architecture and aesthetics.

The map offers new perspectives and readings, to confront facts, characters, versions, and situations, with a critical look evidencing the use of criminal and government power against the students.

In the map, which was already presented to several of the parents of the 43 students, a large mural appears on vinyl, which is a large diagram of the records, the narratives of the participants, the atrocity against the victims, and the agents of local, state security forces including the Army.

The exhibition Forensic Architecture. Towards a research aesthetic includes a selection of its recent cases, as well as the series of works where the agency questions the limits of human violence and environmental destruction.

For more information regarding the exhibition visit the following link:http://


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