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The community is the expert: civilian investigations in environmental and colonial violence

Publié le 10 octobre 2023 Mis à jour le 1 février 2024

Conference by Forensic Architecture, with Jumanah Bawazir & Omar Ferwati, MSH Invited Professor, Goldsmith University. Event organized by CREG-MSH (Centre de Recherche sur l’Expérience de Guerre) with REVIP (Rendre le "vivant" politique) on October 25 (6-8pm) @MSH-ULB

Research and public advocacy about environmental and colonial violence faced by indigenous communities fail to comprehensively understand the extent of its harm and to mobilize effectively in calls for justice. This gap both in knowledge and communication about violence hurts international solidarity between victims and obstructs our articulation of justice for each case of systemic violence. Research into both environmental and colonial violence often takes an abstract top-down view into the sites of violence where victims are incidental subjects. The result is a distorted view that removes human sensibility and with it, mobilization against violence. The knowledge produced in this way is incomplete because it trivializes the lived experience of affected communities who hold generations of knowledge about their lands and who witness violence through their eyes and bodies. We argue in this lecture that the voices of those afflicted communities must not only be foregrounded in research and advocacy but that knowledge production and advocacy must be led by those communities. Through a series of civilian investigations from Yanomami land in the Amazon rain forest to Palestine, we show how this approach gives rise to new methodologies that lead to more insightful and comprehensive advocacy. It becomes increasingly clear too, in these cases, how cross-reliant and interconnected colonial and environmental violence is.
Moderation by Anne Xuân Nguyễn and Déborah Brosteaux

Wednesday, October 25th 2023, 6-8 pm
Salle Baugniet
Bâtiment S - Niveau 1 - Salle S.1.326
Avenue Jeanne 44
1000 Bruxelles

Free admission, no registration required.
The conference will be followed by a drink for which registration is required by email: creg@ulb.be 
More information: MSH