Sophie Dyer is a designer, researcher and activist.

As a freelancer (medieval mercenary) she specialises in visual, open source and human rights-based investigations. She co-produces the experimental documentary unit, Concrete Flux.

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Conflicting Truths

Time based installation drawing on Airwars' public archive of civilian casualty allegations against the US-led Coalition from war against the so-called Islamic State.
(April 2019)
Feedback #4: Marshall McLuhan and the Arts
College For Creative Studies
Detroit
#archive #open-source #remote-sensing

Project in collaboration with Rectangle (Lizzie Malcolm and Dan Powers)

“What does it mean to defend the dead?” Christina Sharpe, 2016

Over the duration of the exhibition, the names of 11,431 civilians alleged to have been killed by US-led Coalition strikes against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, were projected alongside the social media reports from which they were gathered. The names were grouped by assessments made by the nongovernment organisation, Airwars, which has monitored reports of civilian casualties since the conflict began in August 2014.

At the time of the exhibition in Detroit, the US-led 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.