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Maps of Defiance

The V&A will curate the UK entry and have collaborated with UK-based Forensic Architecture, an independent research agency based at
Goldsmiths, University of London, to design the UK pavilion. Forensic Architecture’s interdisciplinary team of investigators, including filmmakers, software developers, archaeologists, lawyers, journalists and architects, will show how innovative methods of digital design and image capture can enable on-the-ground DIY cultural heritage documentation and preservation.

Working in the Sinjar area of Iraq, Forensic Architecture will work alongside the NGO Yazda to support and train their researchers in the collection, documentation and preservation of evidence of the destruction, genocide and enslavement perpetrated by Daesh (Islamic State) against the Yazidi people. 3D models of the sites destroyed by Daesh will be constructed using aerial photography and photogrammetry and will serve as valuable pieces of evidence for future litigation. The visually, intellectually and emotionally arresting installation proposed by Forensic Architecture responds to the theme of Emotional States by examining how design can directly inform new perspectives and lines of investigation.

The exhibition will present the process by which these images are collected and reconstructed, alongside the objects used in the training of Yazda’s researchers such as rigs made from kites, plastic bottles and drones. In addition, it will explore the role digital cultural preservation has played in communities who have recently experienced trauma.


Design Team: Forensic Architecture with Yazda
Curators: Natalie Kane and Brendan Cormier (V&A)
Administering bodies: V&A; in collaboration with Art Jameel; supported by the British Council and Arts Council England