Workshop 3, Johannesburg: ‘Forensic Infrastructure: Building the Global South’


We are very pleased to announce that the third Planned Violence workshop, ‘Forensic Infrastructure: Building the Global South’, will take place on 31 March and 1 April 2015 at WISER, Wits University, Johannesburg.

What are the conceptual and historical underpinnings and technologies of the infrastructures of political violence?

How do mappings of infrastructures in different forms—military technologies, policing, biometrics, forensics, cities, texts—enable and facilitate new geographical and topographical imaginings, producing emergent networks of communication, economic exchange and social interaction?

To what extent are these built around the appropriation of pre-existing urban infrastructures or, by contrast, worked out through the development of new informal or ‘underground’ urban circuitries?

Do these alternative infrastructural networks run beneath, below and between the rigid, physical governmentalities of not only the state but also the increasingly cross-national capitalist connections that are coming increasingly to define the global South?

In what ways do these informal socioeconomic infrastructures cut against, yet also conform to and perpetuate, broader trends of global inequality and structural violence?

To what extent do the changing formal responses of literary and cultural narratives initiate a “forensic” analysis of cities like Johannesburg (to draw on Eyal Weizman’s methodology of “forensic architecture”)?

Can we build new understandings of the social and political potential of urban infrastructures through our readings of these shifting cultural forms?

Download a pdf of the poster

View the workshop programme

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