Agitation Co-op is an exhibition that investigates the subject of landscape from a range of alternative vantage points; not only social and political ideologies but also mapping and topography. The exhibition includes artworks by Michele Horrigan, Catriona Leahy, Laurie Robins, and Libita Sibungu. It is accompanied by this online screening programme highlighting films by Forensic Architecture, Melanie Smith, and Eva Richardson McCrea, Frank Sweeney and the Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society.
The screening programme provides additional narratives about the ways in which land is controlled, disrupted and reconfigured to suit the requirements of capital and political strategies. These plans often represent ideas of progress and development from a position of power, which inevitably impact on the lives of those who have, until that point, inhabited the landscape on their own terms–whether it is an area of a city or an entire country. The films explore the relationships between technological advancement and labour, colonial and industrial occupation, extraction of natural resources and displacement of communities. In many cases these contemporary conflicts are the residual effects of deep-rooted oppression, and this selection of films calls attention to hostilities that would otherwise remain hidden below the surface.
Click the Watch buttons below to be re-directed to watch each video online.
Eva Richardson McCrea, Frank Sweeney and the Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society (DDWPS)
Made Ground is a collaborative and rhizomatic research project that takes the DDWPS’ extensive online photographic archive as its starting point. The two-channel video work considers the changing architecture, social structure and role of the Dublin Docklands based on the development of emerging capitalist value systems during the Celtic Tiger period of commercial speculation in Ireland. Drawing from interviews, institutional and personal archives, and original footage, the film documents a shift from manual to knowledge-based forms of labour in the Docklands, and the impact of these changes on the surrounding communities. Richardson McCrea and Sweeney link these geographical changes to other strata of social, political and economic change to question how future communities can be accommodated and protected from the effects of increasing, and inevitable, automation of labour.
Maria Elena takes its title from a small mining town in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Founded in the 1920s and developed by the Guggenheim dynasty, the town has mass-produced saltpetre (used for fertilisers and explosives) for almost one hundred years. The film traces the present day impact of the region’s colonial industrial past, in which British, US and Latin American histories are intertwined and implicated in the global economic system. The fragmentary narrative depicts the enormous beds of nitrate as if they are details from modernist abstract paintings, and relates these to scenes of industrialised landscape painting from the early twentieth century. The controlled explosions that unsettle the raw material in order to be harvested refer to and expose the legacy of disruption caused by extractionist global capitalism.
Herbicidal Warfare in Gaza
Over three decades the occupied Gaza Strip has been slowly isolated from the rest of Palestine and the outside world, and subjected to repeated Israeli military incursions. Since 2014, the clearing and bulldozing of agricultural and residential lands by the Israeli military close to the Palestine border has been complemented by the unannounced aerial spraying of crop-killing herbicides. This ongoing practice has destroyed entire swaths of formerly arable land along the border fence, resulting in the loss of livelihoods for Gazan farmers.
Oil and Gas Pollution in Vaca Muerta
Vaca Muerta, Argentina is one of the world’s largest deposits of shale oil and gas. It is also home to indigenous communities, part of the Mapuche people who live between Chile and Argentina. While Argentinian companies have operated in the region for decades, in 2013, a new agreement saw the US energy giant Chevron enter Vaca Muerta. This opened up the area for the first time to the international oil and gas industry: Chevron was soon followed by Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, and others. In this study, Forensic Architecture investigated a local Mapuche community’s claim that the oil and gas industry has irreversibly damaged their ancestral homeland, and eroded their traditional ways of life.
Destruction and Return in al-Araqib
The village of al-Araqib in the northern Naqab desert has been demolished over 170 times over the past sixty years. Israeli authorities argue that the village did not exist prior to the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel, and that as such, the Bedouin villagers are trespassers, and their settlements illegal.
Since 2015, Forensic Architecture has worked alongside the families of al-Araqib and other Bedouin communities to provide historical and juridical evidence supporting their claims to the land. Forced displacement and illegalisation of these communities cuts them off from infrastructure and erases them from maps, while land works and afforestation transform their land, erasing and obscuring the material remains and evidence of their enduring inhabitation of the region.
Eva Richardson McCrea, Frank Sweeney and the Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society
Collection of the Arts Council of Ireland. Artists: Eva Richardson McCrea and Frank Sweeney; Narration: Gemma Dunleavy; Port Shoot Film Crew: Aidan Gault, Cian Speers, Tom Speers at Gumbo; Development Mentor: Veronica Dyas; Interviews: Paddy Daly, Alan Martin, Paddy Nevins, Miley Walsh, Christy Mc Donnell, Mick Rafferty, Gerry Fay, Tony McDonnell, Tommy Byrne.
Eva Richardson McCrea | Lives and works in Frankfurt and Glasgow. Exhibitions, projects and screenings include Table Scenes, FONDA, Leipzig with Nina Nadig, curated by Johanna Weis (2021); Chasers, Brightening Air (forthcoming 2021), commission for Women in the Machine, VISUAL Carlow, with Michelle Doyle and Cóilín O'Connell (forthcoming 2021); Riddles of the Stones, CCA, Glasgow (2020); Underground Maneuvers and Transmissions, Soft Spot Online, Manchester (2020); A Slip of Certain Measure, Crownpoint Studios, Glasgow (2020); Made Ground, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin with Frank Sweeney (2019); Repeater Data Dump, Distributed by USB Key, Cork Sound Fair (2019); After the Music and Before the Visions, St. Peters Church, Cork with Cóilín O’Connell (2019); Yoga for the Eyes, Glasnevin, Dublin and Sherkin Island, Cork (2018); Open Ear, Sherkin Island, Cork (2018); Repeater III and Repeater II, The New Space, Fatima, Dublin, Ireland (2017/2016); Collaboration with Ronan McCrea on his exhibition Material(s), Green on Red Gallery, Dublin; EVA International, Limerick (2014).
Frank Sweeney | Lives and works in Dublin. Exhibitions, performances and screenings include People enjoy my company, Brightening Air (forthcoming 2021); Palace of Purification (forthcoming 2021) with Claudine Chen, Michelle Doyle, Kerry Guinan, Megan Scott; DJ Free Time & MC Keith Davis live, performance with Kean Kavanagh, Douglas Hyde Gallery (2021); Cornaleena, Musictown Festival with Coilín O'Connell, Kevin Barry, David Kitt, Jennifer Walshe (2021), All I believe happened there was vision, aemi online (solo) (2020); All I believe happened there was vision,Wexford Documentary Film Festival (2020); Made Ground, Soft Spot, Manchester (2020); Made Ground, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin with Eva Richardson McCrea (2019); Repeater Data Dump, Distributed by USB Key, Cork Sound Fair (2019); Repeater, Áras Eanna, Inis Oirr (2018).
The Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Dublin’s Docklands. To date it has collected over 6,000 photographs as well as other donated documents, which are currently being archived by Dublin City Council and will soon be available to the general public.
Courtesy of Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich and Plataforma Atacama. Collection of Rocio and Boris Hirmas. Production: Sol del Valle (General Production); Ricardo Soto (Production Assistant); Felipe Echaverria (Production Assistant); Julien Devaux (Cameraman); Sebastian Echaverria (Assistant Camera); Carlos Echaverria (Drone); Felix Blume (Sound Engineer and Post Production); Sol del Valle (Cultural Management); Alexia Tala (Curator); Alfonso Cornejo (Editing/Operator); Antonio Ramírez (Colour Correction); Tania Pineda (Pre-production in Mexico).
Melanie Smith | Lives and works Mexico City. Exhibitions include Liverpool Biennial, The Bluecoat (2018); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2016); Tamayo Museum, Mexico City (2015); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2009); Tate Modern, London (2006); and MoMA PS1, New York (2002). In 2011 she represented Mexico at the 54th Venice Biennale. A survey of her work was shown at Milton Keynes Gallery (2014), Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius (2014); and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2014).
Herbicidal Warfare in Gaza
Forensic Architecture Team - Principal Investigator: Eyal Weizman; Project Coordinator: Shourideh C. Molavi; Research: Samaneh Moafi, Stefan Laxness, Grace Quah; Project Support: Sarah Nankivell. Extended Team - Drift Analysis: Dr Salvador Navarro-MarInez (Imperial College London); Remote Sensing: Corey Scher; Fieldwork Assistant: Shurouq al-Aila; Fieldwork Photography and Video: Roshdi Al-Sarraj. Collaborators - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights; Ain Media Gaza; Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights; Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement.
Oil and Gas Pollution in Vaca Muerta
Forensic Architecture Team - Principal Investigator: Eyal Weizman; Researcher-in-Charge: Samaneh Moafi; Research: Robert Trafford, Martyna Marciniak, Manuel Correa, Nicholas Zembashi, Nicholas Masterton, Tom James, Lola Conte, Olukoye Akinkugbe, José Antonio González Zarandona; Voice over: Ana Naomi de Sousa. Extended Team - Anthropologist: Jorgelina Villarreal; Remote Sensing: Paulo Jose, Murillo Sandoval. Collaborators - The Guardian; Comunidad Mapuce Campo Maripe; Confederación Mapuche del Neuquén; O11CE (Arena Documenta + m7red); Observatorio Petrolero Sur.
Destruction and Return in al-Araqib
Forensic Architecture Team: Principal Investigator: Eyal Weizman; Project & Research Coordinator: Ariel Caine; Video Editing: Samaneh Moafi; Platform Design & Development: Franc Camps-Febrer, Lachlan Kermode; Research: Nathan Su, SebasIan Tiew, Guillaime De Vore; Project Support: ChrisIna Varvia, Sarah Nankivell. Extended Team - Zochrot Team: Debbie Farber, Umar al-Ghubari, Rana Gnayem, Lotte Bjerg Thomsen, The Village of al-Araqib: Nuri al-Uqbi, Aziz al-Turi, Sayakh al-Turi, Public Lab: Hagit Keysar, Prof. Oren Yijachel, Bedouin Visual Archive Project: Miki Kratzman; Drone Footage: Shabtai Pinchevsky, Princeton University Conflict Shoreline Course, Forensic Architecture MA (MAFA) at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths. Collaborators - Zochrot; Activestills; Michael Sfard Law Office; Carmel Pomerantz; Association of Unrecognised Villages; Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF); Public Lab.
Forensic Architecture (FA) is a research agency, based at Goldsmiths, University of London, investigating human rights violations including violence committed by states, police forces, militaries, and corporations. FA works in partnership with institutions across civil society, from grassroots activists, to legal teams, to international NGOs and media organisations, to carry out investigations with and on behalf of communities and individuals affected by conflict, police brutality, border regimes and environmental violence.
FA’s investigations employ pioneering techniques in spatial and architectural analysis, open source investigation, digital modelling, and immersive technologies, as well as documentary research, situated interviews, and academic collaboration. Findings from FA’s investigations have been presented in national and international courtrooms, parliamentary inquiries, and exhibitions at some of the world’s leading cultural institutions and in international media, as well as in citizen’s tribunals and community assemblies.