New in Mediapart, Joseph Confavreux speaks with Eyal Weizman about architecture as a means of investigating violence and state crimes, as discussed in Weizman’s book Forensic Architecture. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full article. An excerpt appears below.
“Q: Why did you choose the term “forensic” to refer to both your activity and the agency you founded?
A: Eyal Weizman: Because I see in this term both problems and potentialities. The main problem is that the activity covered by this term of forensics , as it is practiced today, is a means for states, police or government agencies to supervise and monitor their populations.
But historically, the origin of the term refers to something very different. While “forensics” now refers to the use of scientific expertise in the legal sphere, the word comes from forensis , a term that, in Latin, refers to the public place, to bring a question or a complaint to the public. at the forum. It therefore expresses a political practice. For us, the forensic technician can not do without the public questioning ( forensis ).
I think it is necessary to tear this word out of the mouth of the beast and use it as a term belonging to the vocabulary of civil society and counter-investigation.”