MIF21: Cloud Studies at the Whitworth, Manchester

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
MIF 2021: Cloud Studies at the Whitworth, Manchester
Courtesy of the artist

Cloud Studies at The Whitworth, Manchester and online, 2 July–17 October 2021, free entry - Visit now

Can art be a tool for affecting real, high-level change? Over the course of its 10-year existence, Forensic Architecture has stolen the attention of the public, art world and legal sector with its endlessly in-depth, ground-breaking investigations into human rights violations – including violence committed by states, police forces, militaries, and corporations. The 2018 Turner Prize-nominated, Goldsmiths-based research agency works directly with and on behalf of communities and individuals affected by conflict, police brutality, border regimes and environmental violence, and its findings have been presented in art galleries, lectures and courtrooms around the world, bringing injustices to light.

One of the key highlights of Manchester International Festival 2021 will be Cloud Studies – a major exhibition of the agency’s work, staged at the Whitworth Art Gallery, that exposes how states and corporations weaponise the air we breathe to suppress civilian protest, to maintain and defend violent border regimes, and empower extractive industry. Examples of cases will span Palestine, Beirut, London, Indonesia, and the US-Mexico border, and provide insights into Forensic Architecture’s game-changing methods of open-source investigation, employing tools that range from creating virtual reality environments and 3D modelling to interviewing survivors of violence to access and explore memories of trauma.

The show will also feature a two-channel film that marks the first stage in the agency’s new investigation into environmental racism in Louisiana, in an area known as ‘Cancer Alley’. The state has the most toxic air in America due to the high concentration of petrochemical production facilities located along the Mississippi River, and the majority-Black communities that live in the region (once home to thousands of slaves) are up to 50 times more likely to develop cancer as a direct result. The film will contextualise the current situation within a 300-year-long history of environmental racism, beginning with colonialism and slavery, whilst demonstrating how this extractive economy continues today and fuels climate change. The project supports the multigenerational efforts of Black Louisianans to protect themselves from future erasure and lobby for ecological reparations.

This is a rare opportunity to experience the wide breadth of Forensic Architecture’s work in one setting and to witness the early stages of yet another of the agency’s deeply urgent investigations. Don’t miss.

Cloud Studies at The Whitworth, Manchester and online

2 July–17 October 2021
Free entry

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Activity Until 3 February 2023, from £30.00

Baumka Conscious Clubbing at Victoria Warehouse

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts

Activity Until 6 March 2023, from £6.00

Shake it off: Music Video Dance Class with Girl Gang

Exhibitions Until 6 March 2023, FREE

Screen Time at KERB

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre
Families Until 11 March 2023, from £20.00

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre

OUTDOOR ART CLUB AT THE WHITWORTH
Childrens Until 18 March 2023, FREE

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth