Testimony as Environment Symposium

London School of Economics (LSE), Curated and convened by Eray Çaylı (European Institute, LSE)

February 14th at 2:47pm

Nishat Awan, ‘Digital Witnessing and the Racialised Body’, London School of Economics (18-20 Jan 2019)

Humanitarian agencies and human rights groups are relying more frequently on techniques such as remote sensing, satellite imagery and social media analysis to produce accounts of violence. The analysis of such data aims at creating unchallengeable truths for the court of law or of public opinion and has contributed towards a forensic turn within the social sciences (Sharp, 2015; Weizman, 2011). It has also complicated the already fraught relationship between the practice of witnessing and political subjects. In this presentation, I explore how digital witnessing allows us to ‘see’ further and deeper into places that are at a distance from us, whilst at the same time creating the conditions that make certain subjects recede from view, however we might want to name them: the subaltern, racialised subjects, black subjectivity, or those living in the wake as Christina Sharpe would term it (Sharpe, 2016).

Read more about this event here.