Terrestrial University: Cloud Studies

Dr. Samaneh Moafi (Forensic Architecture) in conversation

Dr. Samaneh Moafi (Forensic Architecture) in conversation
Dr. Samaneh Moafi (Forensic Architecture) in conversation

Tear gas is used to disperse bodies gathering in democratic protest, white phosphorus and chlorine gas spread terror in cities, herbicides are sprayed from airplanes. Toxic clouds colonize the air we breathe. Studying such contemporary clouds necessitates a new approach. How such an approach can look like is shown by »Forensic Architecture«.

In the fifth edition of the »Terrestrial University« we welcome Dr. Samaneh Moafi. She is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Contemporary Nature (CNN) and part of the research agency »Forensic Architecture«. Together with Martin Guinard, co-curator of the exhibition, she will speak about the scientific and artistic work of »Forensic Architecture« within the frame of »Critical Zones – Observatories for Earthly Politics«.

»Forensic Architecture« (FA) is a research agency, based at the Goldsmiths University in London. They undertake advanced spatial and media investigations into cases of human rights violations, with and on behalf of communities affected by political violence, human rights organizations, international prosecutors, environmental justice groups, and media organizations. The research of Samaneh Moafi focuses on developing new evidentiary techniques for environmental violence. She holds a PhD from The Architectural Association (AA), and a BA and MA in Architecture from the University of Technology, Sydney.

With their work »Cloud Studies«, »Forensic Architecture« is part of the exhibition »Critical Zones«, in the digital as well as the physical space. Their video essay deals with the topic of toxic clouds and merges investigations on specific cases with the effects of these toxic clouds in different geographical locations, with, for instance, phosphorus and glyphosate in Gaza, methane in Argentina or Chlorine in Douma. Besides the audiovisual narrative, the essay provides additional resources on the individual chapters linked to more in-depth information.