To extract, the dictionary tells us, “is to pull, usually with special effort or force, to deduce or impose a penalty.” The word ‘extraction’ is from the Latin extrahere, which means “to draw out”. But aren’t all documentary practices essentially about drawing out: framing, capturing, removing, archiving, and sometimes exercising modes of mastery by re- or decontextualizing the object depicted? If indeed, as Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson argue, “extractivism” is becoming the dominant paradigm of contemporary capitalism and neoliberalism at large, how can extraction be documented without becoming coerced into, and complicit with, the very forces that it seeks to dismantle?
The workshop begins from the assumption that too many theories of visuality and planetary crisis have fallen short of taking proper accounts of the violence of nation-states, settler colonialism and extractive capitalism. It thus aims to initiate an urgent conversation about ‘extractive views’ that render indigenous people invisible, and through which value is generated for capital. Engaging with modes of image-making that might resist the aesthetic lure of well-crafted visual documents and questioning representations as evidence of violence, this workshop investigates various methods of visualizing extraction. Focusing on particular geographies wherein state power, economic austerity and racial violence run rampant, the workshop aims to map escape routes from the toxic documenting\extracting amalgam.
The workshop brings together five researcher-practitioners with five images (films, photos, sounds etc.) that offer diverse manifestations of extractive violence and probe the relations between the visual document and documentary film.
Daniel Mann is a filmmaker and Leverhulme research fellow at the Film Studies Department at King’s College London. His films have been exhibited internationally at film festivals and venues such as The Berlin Film Festival, The Rotterdam Film Festival, Cinema du Reel, The Hong Kong Film Festival, New Horizons, Sonic Acts, and the ICA in London. His writing appeared in journals such as Media, Culture & Society, Screen, and World Records. His first book, titled Occupying Habits: Visual Media as Warfare in Israel\Palestine, is coming out in 2021 with Bloomsbury.
Ariel Caine is a Jerusalem-born, London based artist where he is a researcher and project coordinator at the Forensic Architecture research agency. He completed his PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London.
Ariel’s practice focuses on the intersection of spatial optical imaging, modelling and survey technologies and their operation within the production of cultural memory and national narratives. Ariel teaches at the RCA (London), ISIA (Urbino) and Bezalel (Jerusalem). His works and writing have been exhibited extensively internationally.
Dr Mirna Pedalo is a London-based architectural practitioner, researcher and scholar interested in the intersection of architecture, urban development and finance in post-conflict societies, particularly in the Western Balkans. Originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mirna has lived and worked in the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and the UK. She recently completed a PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London, and is a recipient of the RIBA President’s Award for Research 2019 in the Cities and Community category. Mirna is an Associate Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Oxford Brookes University and University of Westminster.
Hannah Meszaros Martin is an artist and writer. She holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London. She is currently an Advanced Researcher at Forensic Architecture (FA), which she has been a member of since 2012. With FA, she has exhibited at the House of World Cultures (Berlin), MACBA (Barcelona) and MUAC (Mexico City), and contributed to the book FORENSIS (Sternberg, 2014). She has exhibited solo work in Medellín, London, documenta(13), and Manifesta (Marseille). She has published with Open Democracy, Third Text and Different Skies, a publication that she co-founded in 2012.
Ifor Duncan is a writer and inter-disciplinary researcher and a post-doctoral fellow in environmental humanities at the Center for the Humanities and Social Change at Ca’Foscari University of Venice. His research focuses on the imbrications of political violence with degrading watery ecosystems. He encounters these concerns through visual cultures, cultural memory, and fieldwork practice. He completed his PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture, and has taught at CRA and on the Media Studies programme in the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art.