Nabil ahmed by Laura Alcalde

Nabil Ahmed
Ecocide Forensics


As founder of the project INTERPRT, artist, writer, researcher and musician Nabil Ahmed makes a clarion call for international criminal law to protect against ecological impunity. The environmental justice project that has worked with Princeton and renowned art institutions leans on spatial design to consider ecological visual culture, investigating at-risk regions like bio-diverse and conflict-ridden West Papua/​Indonesia, endowed with the planet’s largest reserve of copper and gold.

International criminal justice offers considerably limited protection to the environment and to the livelihoods and dignity of peoples. In West Papua, where the Papuans are fighting the longest self-determination struggle in the Pacific, the Indonesian state and minerals, natural gas and palm oil corporations are getting away with ecocide and crimes against humanity. Yet today, civil society groups, NGOs and journalists have expanded access to geospatial information, audiovisual media and open-source data to expose state violence and corporate crimes. Forensic truths acquired by non-state actors are increasingly admitted in legal contexts and for advocacy purposes. This lecture explores how spatial analysis and environmental forensics are put to work by INTERPRT to not only document underreported environmental offenses and human rights violations, but also in an effort to recognise ecocide as an international crime. First invoked during the Vietnam War, ecocide has the potential to be an effective tool for climate frontline governments and civil society in the fight against ecological impunity at the international criminal court and beyond.

Nabil ahmed by Laura Alcalde

Nabil Ahmed holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is affiliated with Forensic Architecture. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the Academy of Fine Art in the architecture and design faculty at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is also founder of INTERPRT, which investigates environmental crimes using spatial analysis and advocates for the criminalisation of ecocide under international law. The group collaborates with international lawyers, research centres and civil society such as Princeton Science & Global Security and Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, and has exhibited projects at venues including Biennale Warszawa/​Modern Art Museum in Warsaw and the Beirut Art Centre. INTERPRT is commissioned by TBA21 – Academy. Ahmed has written for Third Text, Candide: Journal for Architectural Knowledge and Architectural Review among others and is published in numerous books.


Nabil Ahmed. Photo by Laura Alcalde.

Magical Thinking: Towards a Future Worth Living – Conference Day 1

at De Brakke Grond
Sat 22 Feb 13:30 — 15:30

This conference proposes the magical thinking’ – a belief that thoughts and actions can influence the world – as a provocation. In current dystopian scenarios of future life on Earth, from environment to democracy, imagining a future worth living might reduce anxiety that paralyses action, thereby creating an openness to more inclusive thinking. The questions that need answering are: What is a future worth living (and for whom)? Which tactics can get us there? How can one get from climate emergency and catastrophic populism, fuelled by extractive capitalism, to a world of social/​ecological justice and multispecies equality? With focus on artistic research and strategies of visibility and mobilisation through art, this forum wishes to open up critical discussions and propose routes towards a future worth living.

Ecocide – The Missing Crime

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