A collective of forensic investigators who use open-source data to reconstruct sites have been nominated for Britain’s prestigious Turner Prize. Founded by architect Eyal Weizman in 2010, Forensic Architecture combines the work of researchers, filmmakers, software developers and artists to establish human rights violations. The group has worked extensively with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International through their thorough assembles of archive material, data visualization and documentary film work. Their work has mapped some of the world’s most traumatic conflicts and breaches of human rights including the time U.S.-backed security forces against Boko Haram have been running secret torture chambers in Cameroon and drone strikes in the Middle East.
The work that propelled Forensic Architecture to the precipice of obtaining one of the art world’s most prestigious prizes came out of last year’s politically charged group show, documenta 14. There, the collective presented an account Halit Yozgat, the 21-year-old student who was murdered in an internet café in Germany in 2016. A series of discussions and a video explored the rise of Neo-Nazism in the country, as well as institutional and structural racism, all of which Forensic Architecture says are responsible for Yozgat’s death.
When the Tate announced their 2018 shortlist, the jury praised the team “for developing highly innovative methods for sourcing and visualizing evidence relating to human rights abuses around the world, used in courts of law as well as exhibitions of art and architecture.” The winners will be announced in December.