Negative Publicity : Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition
Negative Publicity : Artefacts of extraordinary rendition, 2016
© Edmund Clark
British photographer Edmund Clark and counterterrorism investigator Crofton Black will be in conversation around their collaborative publication Negative Publicity : Artefacts of extraordinary rendition (Aperture, 2016). The talk will be preceded by a book signing at 7PM.
How to reveal and document invisible mechanisms of state control? What are extraordinary renditions?
From George W. Bush’s 2001 declaration of the “war on terror” until 2008, more than one hundred people suspected of supporting terrorist activities disappeared into a network of covert prisons organised by the US Central Intelligence Agency. They were transferred across the globe on contracted business jets, in secret and without legal oversight – a process known as extraordinary rendition.
Where they were held and what happened to them there was not made public. Some were later sent to Guantánamo Bay or released while others remain unaccounted for.
In a new volume of work, Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition, winner of the Photo-Text Book Award at the 2016 Rencontres d’Arles, photographer Edmund Clark and counterterrorism investigator Crofton Black have assembled photographs and documents that confront those mechanisms of state control and the nature of contemporary warfare. They have recreated the network that links CIA ‘black sites’, travelling worldwide to photograph former detention sites, prisoners’ homes and government locations. Assembling a paper trail that exposes the weak points of this unlawful system hidden in plain sight, Clark and Black compile physical evidence of what author Eyal Weizmann calls in its afterword The material infrastructure of the secret.
The discussion will be held in English.
Crofton Black has spent over six years carrying out in-depth international investigations into counterterrorism tactics on behalf of the human rights group Reprieve, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and other organisations. He has a doctorate of philosophy from the University of London on the topic of early modern hermeneutics and was formerly an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Edmund Clark is an award-winning artist and photographer whose work links history, politics and representation. His series Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out (2010), Letters to Omar (2010) and Control Order House (2012) engage with state censorship to explore hidden experiences and spaces of control and incarceration in the global “war on terror.” He teaches at the University of the Arts, London. His work is the subject of a major solo exhibition, ‘Edmund Clark: War of Terror’, at the Imperial War Museum from 28 July 2016 to 28 August 2017.