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In Autumn 2021, the Museum of Finnish Architecture’s Studio will present Forensic Architecture’s Outsourcing Risk: The Ali Enterprises Factory Fire (2018). The film being shown is part of Frame Contemporary Art Finland’s Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities programme.

Forensic Architecture (FA) is a research agency, based at Goldsmiths, University of London, investigating human rights violations including violence committed by states, police forces, militaries, and corporations. FA works in partnership with institutions across civil society, and findings from its investigations have been presented around the world in various forums, from courtrooms and parliamentary inquiries to cultural institutions and major media platforms. FA’s investigations employ pioneering techniques in spatial and architectural analysis, open-source investigation, digital modelling, and immersive technologies, as well as documentary research, situated interviews, and academic collaboration.

The Museum of Finnish Architecture’s Studio presents Forensic Architecture’s video documentary Outsourcing Risk: The Ali Enterprises Factory Fire. 259 people died when the Ali Enterprises textile factory in Karachi, Pakistan, was gutted by fire on 11 September 2012.  The video shows how Forensic Architecture carried out an architectural analysis of the fire. According to the research team, inadequate fire safety measures at the factory led to the catastrophic death toll. 

“The internationally acclaimed Forensic Architecture research agency harnesses the tools of architecture for the valuable research in defence of human rights. I hope that their video examining the Ali Enterprises factory fire will provide visitors to the Museum of Finnish Architecture with new critical perspectives on architecture and its potential. For example, safety is often an invisible feature of architecture, and one that is easy to take for granted. The research of the clothing-factory fire reminds us of the risks, inequalities and violence that are systematically built into the global division of labour and production chains", states Marja Rautaharju, head of exhibitions at the Museum of Finnish Architecture.

The exhibition and the online talk by professor Eyal Weizman are part of Frame Contemporary Art Finland’s Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities programme in September in Helsinki, Finland. A five-day annual gathering connects artists, curators and other practitioners within the field of contemporary art. This year’s programme bridges hospitality and access with matters of security and safety. Hospitality, care, safety and security are matters intrinsically entangled, not simply through their definitions and overlapping meanings but as acts, practices, institutions, industries, infrastructures and systems of power. The programme is co-organised with the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Vantaa Art Museum Artsi and produced in collaboration with additional partners, the Finnish Cultural Institute New York and IHME Helsinki. The whole programme will be published 17 August.

Forensic Architecture: Outsourcing Risk will be on view from September 10 to October 24, 2021. Studio is an admission-free space on the ground floor of the Museum of Finnish Architecture.

PROGRAMME

Saturday 11 September 2021, 13.00–15.00
Online Talk / Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture
How can architectural tools and thinking be used for forensic analysis? How to understand and challenge public space, violence and politics with these tools and thinking? How to investigate police violence, human rights violations, genocide and ecocide as interconnected processes? This online talk opens up the work of Professor Eyal Weizman and the research agency Forensic Architecture through case-study presentations and conversations. Pre-registration is required. More information about the pre-registration and instructions for participation will be announced next week. The event is part of the Helsinki Design Week programme.

Source: Museum of Finnish Architecture