• The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence between Arendt and Gaza
    Eyal Weizman
    Verso, 2012
    Eyal Weizman

"Originality, ingenuity, and brilliance do not even begin to do justice to this amazing study, this architectural forensics of battle and human rights as pieced together from the study of the ruin and the terrifying logic of 'the lesser evil'. How astonishing to see our new world this new way.”

– Michael Taussig, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

Forensics refers to the practice of presenting material evidence in court. The assumption is that events are registered within the material properties of built structures or artifacts, and that forensic experts can recreate history from these objects. Through forensics, this book aims to rethink the relation between space and law. The close analysis of court cases will refer to war crimes, human rights, and humanitarianism, where spatial forensics could be considered as the archaeology of the present. The book—illustrated with many photographs and diagrams—engages these questions through a series of probes that include the forensics of architectural damage across the killing fields of recent conflicts, where piles of building-rubble index the events of complex destructions; the use of architectural/urban representations, such as drawings and models as evidence in court; and the intersection of spatial and medical forensics in humanitarian work in refugee camps.

Eyal Weizman is an architect based in London. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London and completed his PhD at the London Consortium, Birkbeck College. He is the director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College. Since 2007, he has been a member of the architectural collective decolonizing architecture in Beit Sahour/Palestine. He is also a member of B'Tselem's board of directors. Weizman has taught, lectured, curated, and organized conferences in many institutions worldwide. His books include Hollow Land (Verso Books, 2007); A Civilian Occupation (Verso Books, 2003); the series Territories 1, 2, and 3; Yellow Rhythms; and many articles in journals, magazines, and edited collections. Weizman was the recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize for 2006–07.