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Frame of Accountability


Through film, installation, writing and public engagement, Frame of Accountability investigates ‘risk’ as a lived condition, produced through the co-evolution of capitalist systems and violent conflict. The project focuses on the effects across Lebanon and Syria, with a view to understanding the wider regional and global consequences. Using revolutionary feminist, decolonial, critical-legal, and artistic theories and methods, the work explores ways of dismantling violence perpetrated through colonial mechanisms of governance, towards wider frameworks of accountability and justice.

The film is produced in a multi-part, non-linear formation:

Beyond the Sky’s Limits narrates law as a consciousness coming to terms with its own failings: the speculative voice of a feminist, queered, decolonial International Law. Unravelling this complex non-human subjectivity, it narrates the drafting of the Rules of Air Warfare in 1923. As a study of the legal archival document reveals how these international laws of war become corrupted by the self-interests of the strong states and colonial powers involved in their making: their ambitions fail quickly and critically.

(Un)Touching Ground begins through the discovery of the personal archive of General Spears, the first British Minister of Lebanon and Syria who was closely involved in the Allied invasion of the Vichy French controlled territory in 1941. The film traces the multiple routes of the military campaign and its human and non-human effects as—under the legal construct of ‘military necessity’—two colonial forces fight for control of and access to natural resources across the territory.

In Her View engages evidence revealing the sexual exploitation of an anonymous woman by occupying Australian soldiers fighting for the Allied forces in Lebanon in 1941. The film moves through the archival evidence to sense, trace and position her encounter as a formation of poetic testimony. This part of the film points to the lack of legal accountability for violence enacted at the scale of the body through state perpetrated violence.

About the artist

Helene Kazan is an artist, writer and educator. Her work investigates ‘risk’ as a lived condition produced through the conjoined violent effects of capitalism and conflict. This is observed in the colonial roots of international law and its material formation of the lived-built environment. In response, she uses decolonial, feminist, poetic and critical-legal approaches, the work explores ways of dismantling ongoing effects of neo-colonial violence towards wider frameworks of accountability and justice.