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Engaging with Los Desaparecidos and their loved ones in Mexico

Centre Space Studios and Gallery, BS1 1EA  |  Free

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This talk explores who we are, and what we become after a disappearance occurs in contemporary Mexico.

Since 2006 more than 350,000 assassinations have been officially recorded, 112 000 disappearances and at least 52,000 corpses are held in cemeteries and mortuaries awaiting identification. Families of disappeared persons continually collect material traces of their loved ones via statistics, transport data, phone records, drone mapping, social media, CCTV images, body fluids and forensic reports. This practice is what we call citizen-led forensics. By taking stock of ten years of citizen-led forensics and engaging with the objects, technologies and narratives that embody those that have disappeared, Arely Cruz-Santiago explores what the future of forensics might look like.

This event is supported by Arts Council England National Lottery; the Centre for the Study of Violence, University of Bath; ESRC Festival of Social Sciences; the Global Insecurities Centre, University of Bristol; the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath; and UCC, Cork.

It is also partnered by Bristol Ideas; Locate International; Trebuchet Art Magazine, and The Philosopher. 

This Event is part of the State of Disappearance Art Exhibition 

Image: Chantal Meza (2017) Estado de Terror, Mixed Media

Arely Cruz-Santiago currently holds a three-year Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship entitled Forensic Citizenship: Science and Expertise in Latin America.  Her project embraces feminist Science and Technology Studies to unearth the situated scientific practices led by mothers and families searching for disappeared persons in Argentina and Colombia. Arely is a member of the Panel of Experts at the International Commission of Missing Persons (ICMP) and the leading author of ICMP’s first Global Report on Missing Persons in the Americas (2021).

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