September 19 – September 22
A Flight into the Abyss
11:00AM – 6:00PM
Offsite programming for The Way the Mystic Sees: Navy Pier Festival Hall, 600 East Grand Avenue | Booth 467
Human Rights Watch returns to EXPO CHICAGO in partnership with Weinberg/Newton Gallery to host A Flight into the Abyss, an interdisciplinary site-specific installation by Chicago-based artist Maryam Taghavi.From the exhibition “The Way the Mystic Sees”
A Flight into the Abyss is a meditation on a single historical photograph from September 1984 taken during a track and field training session at the Shiroudi Sports Complex in Tehran. The installation reconstructs fragments of the original image and mimics the rise and fall of an athlete's jump in its display. The photograph captures an incomplete sentence, "The Fate of War...," which appears on a banner in the empty stadium. In the image, the athlete is forever suspended mid-flight — suddenly implicated and caught in the political tension of the Iran-Iraq war that began in 1980 and continued for eight years.
Shining a spotlight on the impact of political conflict, Taghavi emphasizes that her work "looks back into the recent past to think about the historical repetition of similar events." Taghavi's work asks us to question statements disseminated by those in power and to identify how moments in sports may be fraught with propaganda and political tension. A Flight into the Abyss encourages us to engage in unexpected moments of joy and beauty as acts of autonomy and resistance.
The Threat of Tech: Pre-Trial Risk Assessment Tools and 21st Century Discrimination
5:30PM – 6:30PM
Innovative technologies hold the promise of transformative potential to tackle the major human rights problems of our time — armed conflict, forced displacement, environmental devastation, poverty, inequality, and discrimination. At the same time, new technologies can also threaten fundamental freedoms and economic rights. Algorithm-based decision-making is becoming pervasive in our criminal legal system and many other facets of life, including police stations, courthouses, and workplaces. They threaten to reproduce old forms of discrimination in new ways while hiding behind a veneer of science and objectivity.
Join Human Rights Watch, the Chicago Community Bond Fund, and the Illinois Justice Project for a panel discussion to expose and elucidate algorith based pre-trial risk assessment tools and their role in national and regional bond reform debate.
John Raphling, Senior Researcher on Criminal Justice, Human Rights Watch
Sharlyn Grace, Exective Director, Chicago Community Bond Fund
Sharone Mitchell Jr, Deputy Director, Illinois Justice Project
Antonio Gutierrez, OCAD from Organized Communities Against Deportations
Laura S Washington, In These Times Contributing Editor, Columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and political analyst for ABC 7-Chicago
Free and open to the publicFrom the exhibition “The Way the Mystic Sees”
Anatomy of a Fall
6:00PM – 7:00PM
Anatomy of a Fall is a lecture performance that reconstructs elements of a photograph through writing, sound, and movement. Close attention to the image, now from a distant vantage point in space and time, offers previously unavailable revelations. It depicts a seemingly ordinary training session at a stadium in Tehran of 1984. But upon closer inspection, the photo becomes evidence to the events that drastically shifted the sociopolitical landscape of the region.
This live performance by exhibiting artist Maryam Taghavi, sets out to read beyond what the image immediately represents, and by doing so gives shape to a sequence of events that are absent yet connected. By using technology retroactively, this performance searches for the imaginary possession of the past and the consequences of its narratives for the present.From the exhibition “The Way the Mystic Sees”
Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World Film Screening and Conversation
6:00PM – 8:00PM
Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World follows the revolutionary rise of the “citizen investigative journalist” collective known as Bellingcat, dedicated to redefining breaking news by exploring the promise of open source investigation. Similarly to Human Rights Watch, this highly skilled collective exposes the truth behind global news stories. In the last decade and increasingly, Human Rights Watch is indeed harnessing technology, exposing violations remotely and in near real time, through geospatial and data analysis.
All attendees are invited to stay after the screening for a discussion with Emma Daly, Deputy Director for Media, Human Rights Watch.From the exhibition “The Way the Mystic Sees”