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Investigating conflicts. A talk with Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture

With Lorenzo Pezzani, Aiganysh Aidarbekova, Philip Di Salvo

25 September 2022    11:30 - 13:00

Fondazione Collegio San Carlo – Teatro

Via San Carlo 5
Modena, 41121 Italia


Social media has become one of the environments in which conflicts and events manifest themselves in digital form. As also witnessed recently by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms can also become a source of video and audio materials that can recount or bear witness to crucial events and provide access to evidence and evidence from the terrains of conflict or breaking news contexts. Analysis of these materials can be critical in reconstructing events, especially when direct verification in the field is difficult or impossible. Several organizations have perfected open source intelligence and forensic investigation techniques to verify and map events that might not otherwise find their way into the news. This panel will discuss these techniques, their ethics and aesthetics, and their technical advancement with Aiganysh Aidarbekova of Bellingcat and Lorenzo Pezzani of Forensic Architecture and Border Forensics. Philip Di Salvo (DIG) will moderate. In collaboration with DHIALOGUE Moderation: Philip Di Salvo (DIG).

This event stems from a collaboration between DIG and DHIALOGUE, a project on Digital Humanities organized by Unimore – University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The event is part of the schedule of the first edition of SUMMER DHIALOGUES, many appointments with personalities from the world of culture, art, research and journalism. For more information go to dhialogue.it.

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Aiganysh Aidarbekova


Aiganysh Aidarbekova joined Bellingcat in 2018 as an OSINT researcher and trainer from Kyrgyzstan. She conducts open source investigations ranging from corruption to flight tracking. Her recent works include QAnon conspiracies in Eastern Europe, conflict research in Tajikistan against minority…

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Lorenzo Pezzani

Professor, University of Bologna

Lorenzo Pezzani is an architect and researcher, whose work explores the spatial politics, visual cultures and political ecologies of migration and borders. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of the Arts of the University of Bologna and the…

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Philip Di Salvo

DIG executive and researcher

Philip Di Salvo is a postdoctoral researcher at School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Philip’s main research interests are investigative journalism, Internet surveillance and the relationship between journalism and hacking. Previously, he was…

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