Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an artist and a “private ear”, a kind of counter-state actor whose practice consists in trying to give a space and meaning to different types of listening.

Operating both in gallery spaces and in human rights contexts, a number of his works make emerge the value of ear witnessing, a form of testimony that is increasingly being exploited in court. In fact, a number of high profiles cases in recent years (Oscar Pistorius but also Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and other racist murders in the US) have relied on ear witness testimonies.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Walled Unwalled, 2018

The validity of ear witnessing is exemplified and made more concrete in Abu Hamdan’s Walled Unwalled, a work i discovered last year at Biennale of Moving Images in Turin. The 20 minute video examines a series of legal cases in which evidence was obtained through walls. The work…

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