Yale University Art Gallery: Before the Event/After the Fact

SITU’s Euromaidan Event Reconstruction was included in an exhibition at the Yale Art Gallery focusing on the representation of war in contemporary photo-based practice. The work adapted material assembled for a criminal trial focused on the death of protesters during the height of the Euromaidan Protests in Kiev, Ukraine.


Laura Genes, Neil Sanzgiri


Yale University Art Gallery


New Haven, CT




Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery

Before the Event/After the Fact: Contemporary Perspectives on War was curated by Judy Ditner and highlighted conceptual, documentary, and architectural imaging techniques, investigating the visual relationship between factual data and their digital representations. Work from the artists Harun Farocki, An-My Le, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin and others was also included in the show.

The following text accompanied SITU's installation:

The Euromaidan protests began in central Kiev on the night of November 21, 2013 and climaxed in a wave of violent clashes between government forces and civilian protesters in mid-February 2014. On February 20th, 2014, the deadliest day of the protests, three military and 47 civilians were killed. SITU worked with the Ukrainian legal team representing three of the civilians’ families, along with the Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University and independent collaborators in Ukraine to produce an event reconstruction for use in court.

Like many cases of civil unrest, the Euromaidan protests unfolded within a dense urban environment over a sustained time period. While the sheer complexity of such events can often make the pursuit of accountability challenging, this work sought to develop strategies to separate signal from noise and bring key moments into clear focus for use in court. The reconstruction utilizes video footage, digital models, site surveys, medical reports and a host of other relevant data to address whether the Ukrainian military coordinated to fire on the unarmed civilian protesters.

Also installed in the exhibition are selection of the over 400 separate videos recorded by protesters, journalists, and CCTV cameras. These videos provide a rich, if fragmentary, data set to mine for information about the sequence of events that resulted in the protester deaths. A looping video presents a composite of the videos SITU analyzed and mapped back onto the urban landscape to situate fatal gunfire in relation to positions where military and police are seen firing at civilians.

A third installation features an interactive web platform designed for use in court, allowing museum visitors to explore more fully the range of evidence and analytical material used in Euromaidan Event Reconstruction.