Additional lecture for junkspace seminar, 1.6.10h R115

1.6. 10h Charles Heller, Geneva
2011 is the deadliest year in the Mediterranean. The war in Libya forces many people to leave the country. During this period, a vessel loaded with 73 refugees runs out of fuel at sea. During it´s long drift it is spotted by several NATO ships and helicopters, none of which help. All but 11 of the refugees die. Charles Heller talks about the juridical, visual and imaginary construction of the Mediterranean. His lecture addresses the reconstruction of the drift (co-authored with Lorenzo Pezzani) and the construction of a juridical case involving multiple layers of testimony and evidence using remote sensing tools and oceanographic calculation. It refers to the building of the Mediterranean as a selection tool and filter by overlapping international and national jurisdictions as well as by the imagery deployed to deter people from crossing it.
Imagine this was the reverse shot. Now edit.

A Klee painting named ‘Angelus Novus’ shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such a violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.

Walter Benjamin, Tropical Islands, 28.4.2012.

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