The Forensic Oceanography project was launched in summer 2011 to support a coalition of NGOs demanding accountability for the deaths of migrants in the central Mediterranean Sea while that region was being tightly monitored by the NATO-led coalition intervening in Libya. The efforts were focused on what is now known as the ‘left-to-die boat’ case, in which sixty-three migrants lost their lives while drifting for fourteen days within the NATO maritime surveillance area. Going ‘against the grain’ in our use of surveillance technologies, we were able to reconstruct with precision how events unfolded and demonstrate how different actors operating in the central Mediterranean Sea used the complex and overlapping jurisdictions at sea to evade their responsibility for rescuing people in distress. The report we produced formed the basis for a number of ongoing legal petitions filed against NATO member states.
Eyal Weizman is an architect, professor of spatial and visual cultures and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2014 he is a global professor at Princeton University. In 2010 he set up the research agency Forensic Architecture (FA). The work of FA is documented in the exhibition and book FORENSIS (Sternberg, 2014). In 2007 he set up, with Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, the architectural collective DAAR in Beit Sahour/Palestine. This work is documented in the book Architecture after Revolution (Sternberg, 2014). In 2013 he designed a permanent folly in Gwangju, South Korea which was documented in the book The Roundabout Revolution (Sternberg, 2015). His other books include The Conflict Shoreline (Steidl and Cabinet, 2015), Mengele’s Skull (Sternberg, 2012), The Least of all Possible Evils (Verso, 2011), Hollow Land (Verso, 2007), A Civilian Occupation (Verso, 2003). Weizman is on the editorial board of Third Text, Humanity, Cabinet and Political Concepts and is on the board of directors of the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) and on the advisory boards of the ICA in London and B’Tselem in Jerusalem, amongst others. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London and completed his PhD at the London Consortium/Birkbeck College.