Material Witness


Material Witness is an experimental documentary that examines a series of media artifacts which have emerged out of situations of contemporary conflict and historical violence.

Consisting of five episodes (two of which are presented here), the video tracks these media materials through the various public and legal forums in which they participate as corroborative or disputed forms of “evidence” such as the ICTY, the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and COP 15 (the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference, in Copenhagen).

Rather than focusing entirely upon the content of such media, as might be expected, the project also explores the ways in which crisis is registered as a “material violation” itself; in other words, how histories are encoded by media and by which means the complex political realities they are embedded in are rendered visible. In short, it is an inquiry into how objects become agents of contestation between different stake-holders and truth claims.


Susan Schuppli

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