We are at a crossroads in the fight against political and ecological impunity. Today civil society, NGOs, artists and journalists alike have expanded access to geospatial data, and open-source information to investigate and expose ever insidious forms of state violence, corporate crimes and environmental degradation. Innovative methods for applied spatial and visual intervention used by these civil actors are opening up new legal contexts and reimagining advocacy which is empowering impacted communities and creating opportunities for new collaborations across disciplines and practice areas such as art, science and technology. This lecture draws on some of the advanced projects of INTERPRT, a research and design studio dedicated to environmental justice to explore the responsible practice and application of artistic research in this field of conflict and production: the art of producing data you can fight with.
Nabil Ahmed is an artist and spatial practitioner with over a decade of experience in research and advocacy work on environmental conflicts. He is the founder and co-principal of INTERPRT, a research and design studio dedicated to environmental justice. The group works in collaboration and cooperation with international lawyers, scientists, journalists and civil society organizations worldwide to expose and intervene into under-reported cases of environmental destruction. Their most recent, ground breaking visual and spatial investigation, Moruroa Files, carried out in collaboration with Princeton University nuclear experts and the investigative newsroom DISCLOSE investigates the hidden impacts of French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Ahmed and INTERPRT’s long-form investigations have been exhibited most recently by the Biennale Warszawa, The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Dhaka Art Summit and Beirut Arts Centre. His publications have appeared in Scientific Reports, Third Text, Routledge, Documenta, Candide: Journal for Architectural Knowledge, Sternberg Press, Volume magazine, Architectural Review and e-flux architecture among others. He is the co-founder of Call & Response, the UK’s only artist-run arts organisation for multichannel sound art. He has taught and lectured extensively internationally on spatial activism, environmental justice and visual culture. He holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London where he has a long-term research affiliation with Forensic Architecture. He is currently postdoctoral fellow at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art at NTNU. He sits on the international advisory board of Stop Ecocide Foundation which campaigns for making ecocide an international crime and is recognised by the Climate Reframe project as one of the 100 BAME voices in climate activism from the UK.