News and events


Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time, by Arash Kamali Sarvestani

Filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani discusses his 2017 film, Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time, co-Directed with Behrouz Boochani. The film was recently screened at the 2017 London Film Festival.

The documentary film was shot in a detention centre where asylum seekers trying to reach Australian shores are indefinitely detained. Secretly shot on a mobile phone by Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani while detained on Manus, in Papua New Guinea, the film is a collaboration with Dutch-Iranian filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani. Boochani recounts, via the testimonies of fellow inmates, the abuse and violence inflicted and the precarious state of limbo they find themselves in. Chauka, the name of the dreaded solitary confinement unit within the detention centre, was originally the name of a beautiful bird and symbol of the Manus Island. By interweaving dialogue with two Manusian men and shots of daily life on the island, the film gives a much-needed voice to Manus inhabitants, understandably distressed by the current situation. With marked restraint, the film exposes lives broken by shocking immigration policies.

You can watch the film trailer 

You can read an interview with the directors 

Location: Centre for Research Architecture RHB 312
Free / all welcome
Date: 13. October 2017

Time: 2-4pm


Practical Politics Roundtable Discussion

Practical Poltics takes the form of an informal roundtable discussion with members of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths staff, Postgraduate students, and invited guests, focusing on practical modes of engagement and intervention into situations of crisis and injustice. The discussion explores the ways in which we go about setting up research or investigative projects that combine opportunities for critical reflection and creative practice, but that also aspire to be politically consequential ‘on the ground.'

The Centre looks forward to welcoming guests and participants, Vikki Bell, Michel Feher, Thomas Keenan, Lorenzo Pezzani, Susan Schuppli, and Eyal Weizman.

Vikki Bell is Professor of Sociology and current Head of the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She studied Social & Political Sciences at Cambridge and gained her PhD at Edinburgh University in 1992. Vikki Bell is the author of four monographs, including Culture and Performance (Bloomsbury, 2007). Widely published in peer-reviewed journals, she has addressed questions of ethics, aesthetics, subjectivity and politics across the social sciences and theoretical humanities. Recently her work has explored cultural-aesthetic aspects of transitional justice in Argentina. The most recent publication from this project is The Art of Post-Dictatorship: Ethics & Aesthetics in transitional Argentina (Routledge, 2014). This work has recently extended to include Chile.

You can listen to a series of podcasts by Vikki Bell

Thomas Keenan is Director of the Human Rights Project and Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Literature, Human Rights Program at Bard College.  He holds a B.A. from Amherst College, a Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. from Yale University. He is the recipient of the following awards:  Fellowship, Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture, Rutgers (1991–92); Shorenstein Fellow, Joan Shorenstein Center for Press and Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard (1998). He is the author of Fables of Responsibility: Aberrations and Predicaments in Ethics and Politics (1997); articles in PMLA, New York Times, Wired, Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, among others. He was the editor of The End(s) of the Museum (1996) and co-editor of New Media, Old Media (2005); (1988). He is an editorial and advisory board member of Journal of Human Rights, Grey Room, WITNESS, Scholars at Risk Network

Michel Feher is a philosopher who has taught at the École Nationale Supérieure, Paris, at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a founding editor of Zone Books, NY (in 1986) as well as the president and co-founder of Cette France-là, Paris (in 2008), a monitoring group on French immigration policy. For Zone Books, he has co-edited with Gaëlle Krikorian and Yates McKee the volume Nongovernmental Politics (2007) and is currently co-editing, together with Wendy Brown, the Near Futures series. He is the author of Powerless by Design: The Age of the International Community (2000) and of the forthcoming Rated Agencies. The Political Lives of Investees (Zone books, Spring 2018).

You can listen to a series of podcasts by Michel Feher 

Location: Centre for Research Architecture RHB 312
Free, all welcome
Date: Friday 6. October 2017
Time: 2-4pm

Global Legal Action Network with Dr. Ioannis Kalpouzos

This year a new component to the Forensic Architecture Studio is being undertaken by students in the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths. The Live Project offers students the opportunity to engage with real-time events, organised as a focused and research-intensive exercise. This intense hands-on workshop will introduce a new mode of teaching, running for the first 5 weeks of the academic year. Students work in small groups of people with different backgrounds, skills and interests, engaged in a continuous flow of discussions and reviews, turning the class into a collective agency of sorts. 

As part of this programme, the students will be following the work of GLAN (Global Legal Action Network)’s initiatives regarding the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. GLAN is a non-profit organisation bringing together legal practitioners, investigative journalists and academics to pursue innovative transnational legal actions, co-founded by Dr. Ioannis Kalpouzos, who visited the Centre to discuss the Network’s current and ongoing investigations.

GLAN is a non-profit organisation that identifies and pursues innovative legal actions in the ‘Global North’ aimed at protecting the human rights of individuals and communities in the ‘Global South’. The Network is an independent organisation made up of legal practitioners, investigative journalists and academics, focused upon challenging of injustice through legal action for the disempowered. Following on from Dr. Kalpouzos’ talk, the students will embark upon exploratory investigations into cases pertaining to the work conducted by GLAN.

Dr. Kalpouzos is Lecturer in Law and co-convener of the International Law and Global Affairs Group at City Law School. His research explores the law of armed conflict, international criminal law and the law on the use of force. His research focuses on the role of non-state armed groups in international law, particularly in the context of ‘new wars’; on law and new technologies of war, particularly their influence on asymmetry in conflict and the influence of increasingly autonomous weapons; and on international criminal law and ‘banal’ or ‘structural’ criminality.

Dr. Kalpouzos is a Member of the Athens Bar (Greece) and the book review editor of the Journal of Conflict and Security Law. Dr. Kalpouzos was awarded a Harvard Law School Institute of Global Law and Policy collaborative grant for his research on Law and Technologies of War. 

GLAN explore and utilize legal avenues that promote accountability for human rights violations occurring overseas through legal actions in partnership with local grassroots organisations. GLAN also conducts policy relevant, fast reaction legal analyses that supports the work of partner organisations. GLAN provides the necessary platform to explore and develop legal strategies by combining legal and investigatory expertise.

Location: Centre for Research Architecture RHB 312
Date: 4. October 2017
Time: 2-4pm

The Seen Unseen by Mariam Ghani

Artist, writer, and filmmaker screens her 2016 film "The Seen Unseen", an inquiry into the afterlives of US-run black sites in Afghanistan, and excerpts from Faqir Nabi's unfinished 1986 film Soqoot, which uses a fictional framework to look at the effects of omnipresent surveillance during the Communist period. She will discuss how these films relate to ongoing research and collaborations, respectively the experimental archive Index of the Disappeared and the feature film and curatorial series What we left unfinished, and how the regime's resistance to being known, seen, or narrated recurs across and affects both projects. 

Followed by a Q&A led by Meenakshi Thirukode (MA Goldsmiths).

Ghani's work looks at places and moments where social, political, and cultural structures take on visible forms. Solo exhibitions include the Queens Museum of Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Rogaland Kunstsenter, and the Gatchina Museum. Notable group exhibitions and screenings include the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Liverpool Biennial, the Sharjah Biennial, the Dhaka Art Summit, dOCUMENTA 13, the National Gallery in DC, the Secession in Vienna, the CCCB in Barcelona, and the Met Breuer, MoMA and the Guggenheim in New York. Recent texts have been published in Creative Time Reports, Ibraaz, Triple Canopy, and the readers Critical Writing Ensembles, Dissonant Archives, and Social Medium: Artists Writing 2000-2015.

Ghani has collaborated with artist Chitra Ganesh since 2004 as Index of the Disappeared, an experimental archive of post-9/11 detentions, deportations, renditions and redactions; with choreographer Erin Kelly and composer Qasim Naqvi since 2006 on the video series Performed Places; and with media archive collective since 2012 on the digitization and dissemination of the Afghan Films archive. Ghani holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from NYU and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and has received a number of awards, grants and fellowships, most recently from Creative Capital. She teaches at Queens College, CUNY, and Cooper Union.
Location: Centre for Research Architecture RHB 312 / FREE all welcome
Date & Time: March 1st 5-7pm

Structural Violence and International Criminal Prosecution

Public Lecture in CRA, RHB 312 Monday February 6th at 5pm

International criminal law's basic mandate, as described in the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, is to prosecute "serious crimes of interest to the international community as a whole." The enterprise aims to provide accountability for the most egregious forms of violence. 

We will argue that this mandate has far too often led to a preference to prosecute those responsible for spectacular acts of overt violence which are easily translated into images of faraway barbarity. If international criminal law stops there, it will reaffirm and perpetuate the longstanding critique against it, namely, that it is an instrument of neocolonialist domination. In this moment of increasing fragility of the international criminal legal enterprise, we believe this problem may be addressed through due regard not only to spectacular forms of violence, but also to seemingly mundane, banal, violent processes. These too can in be granted a measure of accountability at the international criminal court through existing legal instruments. We will demonstrate this through several examples, part of which we have been personally involved in. 

Dr Kalpouzos is Lecturer in Law  at City Law School. Before he joined City, Dr Kalpouzos taught at the University of Exeter and the University of Nottingham, where he obtained his PhD (2011). He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Dr Kalpouzos is the co-founder of the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), a non-profit organisation bringing together legal practitioners, investigative journalists and academics to pursue innovative transnational legal actions. Dr Kalpouzos’ research is in the law of armed conflict, international criminal law and the law on the use of force. 
Dr Itamar Mann is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Haifa University. His research and teaching focuses on international law and political theory. Before moving to Haifa, he was a research fellow and adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center for three years. He holds an LLB from Tel Aviv University, and LLM and JSD degrees from Yale Law School. His book, Humanity at Sea: Unauthorized Migration and the Foundations of International Law, came out with Cambridge University Press in 2016.

Making Claims with Images

CRA hosts a public lecture with Thomas Keenan. RHB 312 Monday January 16 2017 3-5pm
Video evidence of apparent injustice is often treated as incontrovertible. But sometimes, as advocates say, it 'doesn't work.' The first trial of Rodney King's assailants seems to be a good example: pioneering citizen video of police brutality and 'yet' an acquittal. Looking back after many years, in the age of Black Lives Matter, how do we understand the forensic function of televisual or citizen video? We cannot take its 'working' for granted -- there is always work for us to do with it. Claims need to be made *with* images. Examining three compelling readings of the King tape (Felman, Butler, Ronell), we'll look at the limits and possibilities of making claims for human rights with videotape.
Eyal Weizman responds in suggesting that the recent Elor Azaria case offers a contemporary version of the King tape, albeit with much a different outcome. 
Thomas Keenan teaches literary theory and human rights at Bard College, where he directs the Human Rights Project. He is the author of Fables of Responsibility: Abberations and Predicaments in Ethics and Politics (Stanford University Press, 1997) and co-editor, with Wendy Chun, of New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader (Routledge, 2006). He published, with Eyal Weizman, Mengele’s Skull(Sternberg, 2012), and more recently articles on photography and counter-forensics, Cold War humanitarianism, and human rights and the missionary tradition.

MA / PhD Seminar Critical Finance, Housing & Activism


October 20-21 2016, RHB 312 10-5pm

In “Paying Paul and Robbing No One: An Eminent Domain Solution for Underwater Mortgage Debt”, Cornell Law Professor Robert Hockett changed the status quo of foreclosures by using speculative tactics against speculative practices. His paper proposed to reinterpret existing legal frameworks around evictions in the US and introduced the notion of bypassing the impediments of the system through collective agency in order to shape a more hopeful scenario for indebted households. Eminent domain could be used against eminent domain by reversing its logic while keeping its essence: if property can be seized for the common good by state powers (for example, building a public highway) individual debt could also be bought by state powers for the common good of conviviality in a particular community.

 This Round Table addresses the different tools that the world of finance and real estate speculation can provide in order to think critically about possible modes of resistance within the violence of the recent housing crisis. —Daniel Fernandes Pascual (PhD candidate).

 Guests: Desiree Fields, David Madden

 PhD Presentations: Mirna Pedalo, Daniel Fernandes Pascual & David Burns

Please contact s.schuppli ( for more information

Achille Mbembe Lecture Series

Three lectures by Professor Achille Mbembe hosted by the Centre fot Research Architecture

November 7, 8, 9 

RHB 342 6-8pm

Professor Achille Mbembe, born in Cameroon, obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and a D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris). He was Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University, New York, from 1988-1991, a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 1992, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1996, Executive Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (Codesria) in Dakar, Senegal, from 1996 to 2000. Achille was also a visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001, and a visiting Professor at Yale University in 2003. He has written extensively in African history and politics, including La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun (Paris, Karthala, 1996).  On the Postcolonywas published in Paris in 2000 in French and the English translation was published by the University of California Press, Berkeley, in 2001. In 2015, Wits University Press published a new, African edition.

Risking Everything: The Computational Politics of Prediction, Security, and Secrecy

Risking Everything: The Computational Politics of Prediction, Security, and Secrecy

A one day workshop organised by Luciana Parisi & Susan Schuppli 

Supported by the Centre for CulturalStudies & the Centre for Research Architecture


May 20, 2016 10:00-18:0

PSH LG02, All welcome!

CCTV captures



Louise Amoore

Zach Blas

Paul Feigelfeld    

Ramon Johnson

Boaz Levin 

Antonia Majaca     

Pietro Pezzani

Emily Rosamond

Oana Parvan

Protocols, Public Keys and Politics: An Introduction to Cryptography

Protocols, Public Keys and Politics: An Introduction to Cryptography by Sarah Louise Renwick

23 February 7-9pm in CRA Studio RHB 312

general introduction to cryptography looking at some historical ciphers and how to break them in addition to a high level overview of the mathematics behind modern cryptographic ciphers and why they are secure. A discussion on the social and political effects of cryptography and the consequences of new laws on secure peer to peer communication. A brief introduction to the block chain and the anonymity issues associated with Bitcoin along with some novel applications of the technology.

Sarah Louise Renwick is a PhD researcher at the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway. She has a broad interest in the area of cryptography with the focus of her research being in the field of searchable and verifiable encryption.

Organised by Ming Lin & the Free Seminar (MARA) All welcome / Free


Extraterritorialities in Occupied Worlds: Book Launch & Public Lecture

Lecture by Professor Zygmunt Bauman 

Introduction by the book editors Dr. Maayan Amir and Ruti Sela

Respondent Professor Eyal Weizman  

16 March 5-7pm

RHB 312, Centre for Research Architecture

extraterritorialities book cover
The concept of extraterritoriality designates certain relationships between space, law, and representation.
Within familiar legal and political contexts, the concept of extraterritoriality has traditionally been applied to people and to spaces. Extraterritoriality regulates the function and circulation of people and things in space and across borders, sometimes by exclusion, sometimes by exemption. The book Extraterritorialities in Occupied Worlds is a collection of essays that explores contemporary manifestations of extraterritoriality and the diverse ways in which the concept has been put to use in various disciplines. The inquiry into extraterritoriality found in these essays is not confined to the established boundaries of political, conceptual, and representational territories or fields of knowledge; rather, it is an invitation to navigate the margins of the legal–juridical and the political, but also the edges of forms of representation and poetics.

This volume is a part of Amir and Sela’s Exterritory, an ongoing art project that wishes to encourage both the theoretical and practical exploration of ideas concerning extraterritoriality within an interdisciplinary context. The project aims not only to draw on existing definitions of extraterritoriality but also seeks to charge it with new meanings, searching for ways in which the notion of extraterritoriality could produce a critique of discriminating power structures and re-articulate new practical, conceptual, and poetical possibilities. The Exterritory Project takes shape through art works, research, and various interventions, collaborations, and public events.

All welcome / Free

CRA Roundtable Timeline from Susan Schuppli on Vimeo.

MA / PhD Seminar Technosphere

Guests: Heather Davis, Esther Leslie, The Otolith Group


Students: Anna-Sophie Springer (PhD), (Eeva Sarlin MA student)


1:00-2:00 Screening Cruzon Goldsmiths: Medium Earth, dir. The Otolith Group


2:00-3:00 Discussion with The Otolith Group 

Department events