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Art in Evidence: Narrative, Digital Archives, and Transnational Advocacy for Justice

Art in Evidence: Narrative, Digital Archives, and Transnational Advocacy for Justice

Like any other storytelling practice, litigation relies on producing narratives that fire our collective imagination. In the human rights context, we use those narratives to build forward a vision of the world that disrupts long-standing systems of oppression. When lawyers partner with creatives, their art becomes an integral part of the advocacy, bolstering the work inside the courtroom and creating new forums for justice. 

This panel will honor the legacy of anti-apartheid South African activist Dulcie September. September was assassinated in France in 1988, and the case remains unsolved. Her family are petitioning the courts to re-open the murder investigation, and a powerful documentary about the case, “Murder in Paris,” will be introduced into evidence by their attorneys. A digital advocacy campaign is also underway, using the hashtag #JusticeForDulcie.

“Murder in Paris” filmmaker Enver Samuel will join human rights lawyer Nani Jansen Reventlow and Razia Saleh, archivist for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, in a conversation moderated by Leonard Cortana, a Berkman Klein Center affiliate and doctoral candidate in  film studies at NYU. They will discuss the roles artists and archivists have taken to bring to life the human stories behind legal “facts” and how these narratives have impacted the pursuit of justice and fostered transnational advocacy networks. From entering documentary films as evidence to digitizing, circulating, and promoting archival footage to fight multiple forms of erasure, they will reflect on these multilayered collaborative processes, emphasizing the use of digital networks to build movements behind local and national cases.

Register for this webinar here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.

And, there are two ways to see the film:

  • The film Murder in Paris will be available via password-protected stream from Thursday, April 14 to Sunday, April 24 to confirmed registrants for the panel.
  • Join the Berkman Klein Center and FiLM Society for a screening of the documentary, Murder in Paris, at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19th in Lewis 515. RSVP at:  This in-person screening is open to Harvard students, faculty, staff, and affiliates.  A Harvard ID is required to access the space.

Murder in Paris (2021) explores the complicated story of the assassination of anti-apartheid activist Dulcie September on the morning of March 29, 1988, in Paris. A former school teacher, September was serving as Chief Representative of the African National Congress (ANC) to Luxembourg, Switzerland, and France when she was killed. Murder in Paris sheds light on her unsung heroism and significance in the fight against apartheid. With original interviews and never-before-seen archival footage, director Enver Samuel traces a decades-long pursuit of justice, addressing the erasure of her life and contributions, and the omissions in stories of the liberation struggle.

Past Event
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM EST