Ape Law

Forensic Architecture in collaboration with FIBAR: Baltasar Garzón, m7red and Irendra Radjawali (United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, Argentina)

Galata Primary Greek School
“Throughout history, [orang-utans] have been threshold figures between man and nature. They are also currently at the frontiers of debates regarding the future of laws and rights based on their neurological, genetic and physiological similarities to humans… Sandra, a female orang-utan has won, in an Argentinian court, the right to be considered a ‘subject’ of law, rather than a mere object or a ‘thing’… The death of orang-utans in the [2015] Borneo fires must be thought of as existing between murder and illegal poaching, between human rights and the rights of nature, and on the level of their species, between genocide and ecocide.” –EW, PT, NA, SM, LP, ARP, ASS, CV, MC, PT
Ape Law examines human-induced environmental violence on other species. Utilizing the example of Sandra, the first ape in the world to be granted human rights by an Argentine criminal appeals court in 2015, the exhibit asks whether tropical forest fires can be legally recognized as acts of mass murder against the orang-utans inhabiting them. A new kind of forensic archaeology tracks their fate by monitoring signs of their temporary architecture in the treetops.