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seeing beyond the frame(s)

a case study of image-to-space analysis for citizen investigation

Francesco Sebregondi & Emile Costard - March 23, 2023

the original language of this article is English

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about this contribution

On December 1, 2018, on the margins of a gilets jaunes protest in Marseille, 80-year-old Zineb Redouane was struck in the face by a tear gas grenade as she was standing at the window of her fourth-floor apartment. The following day, she died in hospital.

In partnership with the French investigative media organization Disclose, the London-based research agency Forensic Architecture produced a counter-investigation into the circumstances of her death. The resulting report, published in video format in December 2020, provided evidence of the responsibility of the French police for her killing.

In the proposed publication, the lead researcher on the case for Forensic Architecture and the independent journalist / filmmaker who together authored the report use it as a case-study to discuss the methodology of image-to-space analysis for citizen investigations.

By revisiting the case, the publication brings questions of methods and techniques of visual analysis to the foreground, in an effort to discuss the benefits, as well as the limitations, of using such tools in the particular research framework of a citizen investigation: namely, one in which access to data is limited by underlying structures of power, and where the question of seeing beyond the established frame(s)—of images, of discourses—forms the primary research challenge.

By unpacking the argument presented in the counter-investigation of Zineb Redouane’s killing, the publication uses the format to deploy an multilayered, visual explanation of the techniques pioneered by Forensic Architecture to produce its investigative reports. In so doing, the aim of the publication is to foster the development, and widespread adoption, of open-source visual techniques for citizen investigations.


“The Killing of Zineb Redouane” Forensic Architecture investigation team:

project coordinator: Francesco Sebregondi
researcher: Martyna Marciniak
video editing: Emile Costard
Disclose team: Mathias Destal, Magali Serre

copy editing: Bronwyn Mahoney

acknowledgements: Collectif “Désarmons-Les”; Milfet Redouane.

references and rights

illustration rights and references

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Video shot by anonymous neighbor of Zineb Redouane, December 1, 2018, 18h04. Rights reserved.

Portrait of Zineb Redouane, date unknown. Courtesy of Milfet Redouane.

Google Maps / Google Street View, Views of Noailles district in Marseilles (France), Map data. Photos © 2020 Google Maps / Google Street View. Reproduced with permission.

All other images by Forensic Architecture. © Forensic Architecture. Reproduced with permission.

bibliography and references

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Weizman, Eyal, Shela Sheikh, Susan Schuppli, Francesco Sebregondi, and Anselm Franke, eds. 2014. Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth. Berlin: Sternberg Press.

Weizman, Eyal. 2019. Forensic Architecture Violence at the Threshold of Detectability. New York: Zone Books.

to cite this article

This article is using Chicago format for its references

Sebregondi, Francesco, and Emile Costard. 2023. “Seeing Beyond the Frame(s): a Case Study of Image-to-Space Analysis for Citizen Investigation.” .able journal:

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