Simone Fattal’s artworks pursue timelessness and specificity, like any living archive. Born in Damascus, Syria, and socialized in Lebanon, the artist brings together the contemporary, the archaic, and the mythic in her sculptures, drawings and collages. These are also documents of the politics surrounding a physical relation to memory, through archeological studies or politics of displacement. Fattal combines Middle Eastern references with European aesthetic formalities, to replicate the losses of time while revealing recurrences of socio-political interests of the global society. On top of that, Fattal’s poesies softly emerges in the unfinished, in the amalgam of stories of ancient and everyday subjects.
Jeff Deutch on Forensic Truth
How can digital technologies play a positive role in this war, for example through documenting and tracking war crimes?
Conflicts have been documented since the invention of photography, the first major use-case being the US Civil War, but journalists oftentimes faced restrictions in terms of what they were able to document. During the Vietnam War, journalists were offered widespread and unrestricted access to photograph and film, taking and distributing these images to the world and sharing the horrors of conflict that previously had not widely been observed. The 1972's photograph “The Terror of War”, also known as “Napalm girl” was instrumental in showing the impact of the Vietnam War on civilian populations, resulting in widespread negativity and a lack of support for the war effort among Western countries. That same year, US’ involvement in the Vietnam War ended, and subsequently, restrictions were imposed on journalists looking to cover conflicts the United States was involved in.
In recent years, new tools and technologies have been introduced to overcome some of these barriers and allow for the democratization of conflict documentation. Whereas in the past, when journalists, NGOs, and governments were the main sources of conflict information and narrative construction, now technological advances, increased smartphone take-up, and inexpensive data packages have allowed user-generated open-source content, largely posted on social media platforms, to become an increasingly dominant way of understanding conflicts. Such content has the potential to offer counter-narratives to the misinformation and propaganda published by actors on all sides of conflicts. When media outlets, citizen journalists, or perpetrators upload verifiable documentation to social media platforms or elsewhere, that documentation might disprove the discourse published by state and non-state actors, who often play down or refute events. We are seeing this regularly in the conflict in Ukraine.