BIOGRAPHIES

Khalid Abdalla is an actor and filmmaker who is also involved in cultural production and alternative media. His work balances between his creative life and political beliefs, aware that infrastructural shifts are as necessary as ideological ones. He appears as himself in Jehane Noujaim’s Oscar nominated The Square, and is a founding member of three collaborative initiatives in Cairo: Cimatheque, Zero Production, and Mosireen. Among his acting credits are leading roles in Paul Greengrass’s United 93 and Green Zone, Marc Forster’s The Kite Runner, Tala Hadid’s The Narrow Frame of Midnight, and Tamer El Said’s In the Last Days of the City, which Khalid also produced. In documentary film he has producing credits on Hanan Abdalla’s In the Shadow of a Man and Hanan Abdalla & Cressida Trew’s The Vote. Brought up in the UK to Egyptian parents, Cairo and London are his two cities.

Larry Achiampong and David Blandy are artists who work collaboratively to examine communal and personal heritages, using performance to investigate the self as a fiction by devising alter-egos to point at their divided selves. Over four years, their research has evolved into a body of work including digital imagery, exhibitions, performances and video. They have exhibited their collaborative work internationally, including at Tate Modern, London; EVA International, Limerick; Plymouth Arts Centre; Stony Island Arts Bank, Chicago; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; and Iniva, London. They studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.

Poulomi Basu is photographer based in New Delhi, India. She was born and raised in India between Calcutta and Mumbai, majoring in sociology before completing her Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication, where she graduated with distinction. Her work focuses primarily on underreported, contemporary issues relating to gender and identity.

David Birkin is an artist exploring the intersection of military and civilian culture. Much of his practice reflects on the way war is depicted: its mythology, iconography, and the language and legal frameworks that underpin it. He has worked with human rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Iraq Body Count, and Reprieve, and has written on the ethics and aesthetics of conflict for Frieze, Cabinet, Ibraaz, and Creative Time. Past projects include a collaboration with the courtroom sketch artist at Guantánamo; an extract of CIA legalese in skywriting above New York; a simulated software crash on billboards in Times Square; and a plane circling the Statue of Liberty’s torch. He was an artist-in-residence at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and has exhibited at The Mosaic Rooms, London; the Benaki Museum, Athens; MUDAM Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg; Fotomuseum, Antwerp; and the BFI. Birkin studied at Oxford University and the Slade School of Fine Art, and was a fellow of the Art & Law Program and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Edmund Clark is an artist whose work links issues of history, politics and representation through a range of references and forms including photography, video, documents, found images and installation. A recurring theme is engaging with state censorship to represent unseen experiences, spaces and processes of control in contemporary conflict and other contexts. Clark has published six books and has exhibited widely including in solo museum exhibitions at the International Center of Photography Museum, New York, the Imperial War Museum, London, and Zephyr Raum für Fotografie, Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim. Awards include the Royal Photographic Society Hood Medal, the British Journal of Photography’s International Photography Award and, together with Crofton Black, an ICP Infinity Award and the inaugural Rencontres d’Arles Photo-Text Book Award. He teaches postgraduate students at London College of Communication, University of the Art London. For four years, Clark been artist-in-residence at Europe's only wholly therapeutic prison, HMP Grendon.

Ellen Mara De Wachter is a writer and curator based in London. Her book Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration, published by Phaidon, explores the phenomenon of collaboration in the visual arts and its potential in society at large. De Wachter is a frequent contributor to Frieze magazine, and her writing has featured in exhibition catalogues and publications such as The White Review, Art Monthly, Art Quarterly and on BBC Radio 4. She has taught at the London College of Communications, the Royal College of Art, Royal Academy Schools, Goldsmiths College, Brighton University, and Newcastle University among other places. From 2013-15, she was Curator of Public Collection Development at the Contemporary Art Society and has worked at various arts organisations in London including the Barbican Art Gallery and the British Museum.

Abd Doumany was completing his medical studies in Syria to become a dentist, but stopped his university courses in the third year after participating in a peaceful protest in Douma which was crushed by the security forces. At that point, Doumany started thinking of taking pictures to document what was going on in the absence of free press or neutral reporters in Syria. He began taking photos with his iPhone to avoid being visible and getting arrested. Later, he started using his ordinary digital camera and worked on developing his skill in the field as he had no formal photojournalism training. Doumany started his career in photojournalism as a freelance photographer with Reuters in 2013, and continued covering the Syrian conflict as of April 2014 with Agence France-Presse, upon recovering from an 18-month injury to his leg as a result of sniper fire. In 2015, he was awarded the silver prize of the China International Press Photo Contest War and Disaster News with his portfolio on the Syria conflict, and in 2016 won the first place in Spot News of the Pictures of the Year International. Doumany is also a volunteer paramedic with the Syrian Red Cross.

Alison Drake MBE taught in several Castleford primary schools before becoming a headteacher in North Yorkshire. She obtained an MA in Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Management from York University and has been Chair of Castleford Heritage Trust since its formation in 2000. The Trust uses local heritage as a means of encouraging local people to take part in promoting urban renaissance in Castleford. Alison has initiated and helped to deliver many projects in partnership with other agencies and has been active in organising educational activities and community celebrations and festivals. She received an MBE in 2012 for her work in community led regeneration.

Maya Foa is Director of Reprieve and oversees the organisation’s strategic initiatives to end extreme human rights abuses, the death penalty and abusive counter-terrorism practices. In her work against execution by lethal injection in the US, Maya has codified the scientific case that the lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and helped defence attorneys argue this to save their clients from execution. She has scrupulously traced the pharmaceutical supply chain to track how death rows are diverting medicines, and has supported more than 30 manufacturers in cutting off this supply. Maya has conducted extensive advocacy before the governments of Europe, the United States and regional and international bodies; has served as an expert advisor to the European Commission; and is a frequent voice in the media. A graduate of Oxford University, she also holds an LLB and was a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow. Maya won the 2015 SMK Women Demanding Justice award and has been described by CBS News as “the woman behind a shortage of execution drugs”.

Mariam Ghani is an artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work looks at places, spaces and moments where social, political and cultural structures take on visible forms, and spans video, sound, installation, photography, performance, text and data. Ghani has exhibited and screened at the Guggenheim, MoMA, Met Breuer and Queens Museum in New York, and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the CCCB in Barcelona, the Rotterdam and CPH:DOX film festivals, the Sharjah and Liverpool Biennials, the Dhaka Art Summit, and Documenta 13 in Kabul and Kassel, among others. Some of her recent texts have been published in e-Flux, Frieze, Foreign Policy, Triple Canopy, and the readers Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural ProductionCritical Writing EnsemblesDissonant Archives, Social Medium: Artists Writing 2000-2015, and Utopian Pulse: Flares in the Darkroom. Ghani has received a number of fellowships, awards, grants, and residencies, most recently from Creative Capital, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Public Library, the Doha Film Institute, the 18th Street Arts Center in Los Angeles, the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. She is on the Film/Video faculty at Bennington College. Ghani is known for projects that engage with places, ideas, issues, and institutions over long periods of time, often as part of long-term collaborations. These include: critical, curatorial, conservation and creative work with the national film archive Afghan Films, since 2012, with support from the media archiving collective Pad.ma and a number of international art institutions; the video and performance series Performed Places, ongoing since 2006, in collaboration with choreographer Erin Ellen Kelly and composer Qasim Naqvi; and the experimental archive and discussion platform Index of the Disappeared, initiated with artist Chitra Ganesh in 2004, which has also become a vehicle for collaborations with other activists, archivists, artists, journalists, lawyers and scholars. Ghani’s first feature-length film, the documentary What We Left Unfinished, premiered at the 2019 Berlinale and is currently on its festival run.

Max Houghton is a writer, editor and curator working with the photographic image as it intersects with politics, law and human rights.  She runs the MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, where she organises regular public talks, symposia and exhibitions. Her writing has appeared in publications by The Photographers’ Gallery and The Barbican, as well as in the international arts press, including Foam, 1000 Words, Photoworks and Granta. She is co-author, with Fiona Rogers, of Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now (Thames and Hudson 2017). Orange Screen, a screen-based textual work created in collaboration with Edmund Clark, was acquired by Imperial War Museums in 2017. Houghton is a Laws faculty scholarship doctoral candidate at University College London.

Jinnie Jefferies MSc UKCP is a Senior Trainer and Founder of the London Centre of Psychodrama. She is also a counselling psychologist and supervisor and has a private individual practice in West London. As well as heading up the Psychodrama Department at HMP Grendon Underwood, she trains all prison staff working in forensic therapeutic communities as well as the staff at Millfield NHS forensic therapeutic community. She has recently been given the Terry Waite major award for “outstanding work with long term prisoners”, awarded by the Butler Trust. Over the past decade she has made television and radio programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 using psychodrama and action methods. In 1996 she was invited to be a member of a scientific committee financed by the European Union and subsequently directly organised a psychodrama programme focusing on youth at risk in Greece, Southern Ireland and England. In 2008, she organised a major conference at HMP Grendon on Transformation Through Confinement.

Sofia Karim trained as an architect at the University of Edinburgh and at the Bartlett (UCL). She worked at Foster and Partners architects on projects including the Al-Faisaliah tower in Riyadh, Selfridges store in London and the masterplan for City Hall, home to the London Mayor and Assembly. Sofia also worked at Peter Eisenman Architects in New York on projects including the City of Culture, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. In 2013 she joined Doone Silver Kerr. Throughout her professional career, Sofia has engaged in her own art and architecture practice and theory, working in various mediums. She is a visiting critic at Westminster University.

Helene Kazan is an artist, curator and writer. Her work engages an intersection of international law, architecture, and the human bodily experience of violence. Observed through the lived-built environment in Lebanon, Kazan’s work investigates how violence can be traced through architecture as a material sensor of an evolving integrated limit condition of conflict and capitalism. Kazan questions the politics of dominant methods of producing evidence that can exclude or render the human body invisible, and argues for the poetic testimony of violence as a method by which the human subject can gain further political and legal agency. She is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University, London, and recently curated the exhibition and public programme ‘Points of Contact’ in Lebanon. Her work has been shown at documenta(14), the Serpentine Gallery, London, Beirut Art Center, Lebanon, Mosaic Rooms, London, Ibraaz, Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow, and HKW, Berlin, as a part of Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth. Kazan is the recipient of the 2018-2020 Vera List Center Fellowship for Art and Politics at The New School in New York.

Dr Yoriko Otomo BA/LLB (Hons) PhD (Law) is author of ‘Unconditional Life: The Time and Technics of International Law’, published by Oxford University Press. She is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London where she was formerly Senior Lecturer in Law, and was recently a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Global History, University of Oxford and a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales. She received her doctorate (and a BA and Honours degree in Law) from the University of Melbourne. She is a member of the Food Studies Centre at SOAS and is a series editor for Anthem Press. Dr Otomo is on the editorial board of the Australian Feminist Law Journal, and is on the board of Minding Animals International.

Fred Ritchin is Dean Emeritus of the School at the International Center of Photography. Previously he was professor of Photography & Imaging at New York University, where he co-founded the Photography and Human Rights program. Ritchin had been picture editor of the New York Times Magazine and later directed PixelPress, an online publication, as well as being a collaborator on humanitarian initiatives with UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, Crimes of War, the Rwanda Project, and others projects. Ritchin wrote the first book on photography’s transition to digital, In Our Own Image (1990), followed by After Photography (2008) and then Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen (2013). In 1994-95 he created the first multimedia version of the New York Times, and in 1996 conceived and edited for the Times the first non-linear documentary website, “Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace,” nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. More recently he created the “Four Corners Project” to provide context and ethical grounding for the photograph online. 

Sim Chi Yin is a photographer and artist from Singapore, currently based in London and Beijing. Her practice integrates multiple mediums including photography, film, sound, text, archival material, and performative readings. Combining rigorous research with intimate storytelling, Sim’s works often explore issues relating to history, memory, conflict and migration, and their consequences. Sim was commissioned as the Nobel Peace Prize photographer in 2017 and created a solo show for the Nobel Peace Centre museum in Oslo on nuclear landscapes, using video installation and still photography.  She presented a solo show One Day We’ll Understand at Hanart TZ Gallery in Hong Kong in 2019, and another, Most People Were Silent, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore in 2018. She has also exhibited in the Istanbul Biennale (2017), the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in South Korea, among other international institutions. Sim has been twice nominated for the Prix Pictet, and won the Chris Hondros Award in 2018. Her video installation Most People Were Silent was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2019. Sim was an inaugural Magnum Foundation Social Justice fellow in 2010 and is now a tutor and mentor on the fellowship, co-teaching with International Center of Photography dean emeritus Fred Ritchin. She won the Her World “Young Woman Achiever of the Year” award in 2014 and joined Magnum Photos as a nominee member in 2018. Sim is currently a doctoral researcher on scholarship at King’s College London.

Sultana Tafadar is a human rights lawyer whose practice encompasses a wide range of serious offences including terrorism, homicide, serious violence, firearms, robberies, complex drugs, and fraud conspiracies. She has a strong commitment to the protection of human rights and civil liberties, regularly advising and representing NGOs such as the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre and the Latin American Centre for Human Rights (CLADH) on issues ranging from the rights of prisoners to the right to freedom of expression. She has provided representation in high profile terrorist cases and has significant experience of the multiple and diverse legal, religious and strategic complexities that arise in these cases. Tafadar is on the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Roster of Criminal Justice Sector Experts dealing with Counter-Terrorism, and is currently Joint Chair of Lawyers Against Violence Against Women, which focuses on eliminating sexual violence against women in conflict. Prior to coming to the Bar, she worked at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (AI) on the Africa Program, on the International Justice Project of the International Law and Organisations Program, and assisted the legal advisor of the Middle East Program.

Salil Tripathi is the Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee at PEN International, the world's leading organisation on free expression. He is the author of three works of non-fiction, including The Colonel Who Would Not Repent, which tells the story of Bangladesh's liberation war and its aftermath. Salil wrote the lead essay in the volume Shahidul Alam edited on the liberation war, Birth Pangs of a Nation. Salil's articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Review of Books, New Statesman, South China Morning Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. He is contributing editor at Mint and Caravan in India. His journalism has won several awards - the Citibank Pan Asia Award for Economic Journalism, the Bastiat Prize for writing about freedoms, and the Red Ink Award from the Mumbai Press Club for human rights journalism. He was born in Bombay, India, and lives in London.

VISIBLE JUSTICE was founded in 2018 by David Birkin and Max Houghton with the support of the School of Media at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.