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Charles Heller (Border Forensics): From the Wall to the Sea: The Translocal Politics of (Anti-)Apartheid

26 November 2021 | 10am


Charles Heller will present some of the work he has produced together with Lorenzo Pezzani on Forensic Oceanography, part of the Goldsmiths, University of London programme in Forensic Architecture. With reference to the discussion with Nandita Sharma that will take place the evening before as part of the International Lecture Series at the School of Architecture, he will continue the discussion with specific focus on analysing the refugee crisis through methods of Forensic Architecture and Border Forensics. It will study the violence of borders after death and possible directions of collaboration.

Charles Heller is a filmmaker and researcher whose work has a long-standing focus on the politics of migration and aesthetic practice within and at the borders of Europe. Heller received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Geneva and an MA in International Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He also completed a PhD in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, where he is still affiliated as a Research Fellow. Heller is currently conducting postdoctoral research supported by the Swiss National Fund (SNF) at the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies, American University in Cairo and the Centre d’Etudes et de Documentation Economiques, Juridiques et Sociales, Cairo.

Together with Lorenzo Pezzani, Heller has been working since 2011 on Forensic Oceanography. A collaborative project that critically investigates the militarised border regime in the Mediterranean Sea and the politics of migration. Forensic Oceanography seeks to document violence perpetrated against migrants at sea with maps, articles, exhibitions, websites and films. Heller and Pezzani wrote the report Death by Rescue (2016), and co-directed the film Liquid Traces: The Left-to-Die Boat Case (2014), which reconstructs the events surrounding the group of 72 passengers who left the Libyan coast for the island of Lampedusa and co-founded Watch The Med, an online mapping platform to monitor the deaths and violations of migrants at sea (2012).

Preceding the Friday talk, Charles Heller will also join the International Lecture Series on Thursday 25 November 6.30pm (UK).

Register in advance via Zoom