“What does it mean to defend the dead?” Christina Sharpe, 2016
Over the duration of the exhibition, the names and details of 11,431 civilians alleged to have been killed by US-led Coalition air and artillery strikes in Iraq and Syria are shown, alongside the hyperlocal and social media reports from which they are gathered. The names are grouped by assessments made by the non government organisation, Airwars, which has documented the conflict since it began in August 2014.
At the time of writing, the international Coalition had conceded just 1,190 civilian deaths over its four-year campaign against the so-called Islamic State. Conversely, by listening to social media, local news and speaking to monitors on the ground, Airwars had recorded over 28,000 alleged deaths.
In 2017, a New York Times article called the civilians killed by Coalition strikes, “the uncounted”. For the philosopher, Judith Butler, they are the “ungrievable” – those whose deaths exist outside the dominant frames of war.
A collaboration with Rectangle (Lizzie Malcolm and Dan Powers).