Index of the Disappeared is a collaboration, ongoing since 2004, between artists Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani. The Index is both a physical archive of post-9/11 disappearances - detentions, deportations, renditions, redactions - and a platform for public dialogue around related issues. The Index also produces visual and poetic interventions that circulate fragments of the archive in the wider world.
The Index archive is based in Brooklyn and is open to scholars for research by appointment (when it is not in circulation elsewhere); email mariam [at] kabul-reconstructions.net if you have research to conduct in the archive.
Not An Exception: US Prison Policy from California to Cuba (2014)
From the reader for the exhibition Shangri La: Imagined Cities, an edited and updated version of our conversation with human rights lawyers Alexis Agathocleous (CCR) and Ramzi Kassem (CLEAR), originally produced as a podcast for Creative Time Reports. The PDF also includes the full transcripts from Mariam's offshoot project The Trespassers, which were also published in the reader.
The Guantanamo Effect (2013)
Collaborative text and interactive web project, commissioned by Creative Time Reports. Translates part of the physical Index archive into a rhizomatic, relational, hyperlinked card catalogue, focused around Guantanamo as both reality in place and idea in circulation. (N.B. Content will be expanded and updated in summer/fall 2014.)
Introduction to an Index (2011)
Collaborative text and print project, commissioned from Index of the Disappeared for the 30th anniversary issue of the Radical History Review (which doubles as an examination of the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01). Presents a condensed history of the Index archive and research through layered and annotated images constructed from materials in the archive.
Notes on the Index (2008)
Collaborative critical text, prepared for the exhibition reader A Guide to Democracy in America. Presents the most recent and full statement of the Index's critical position.
New World Borders (2008)
Essay and "corrective redaction" project by Ghani, commissioned from Index of the Disappeared as a contribution to the newspaper Common Possibility, produced for the exhibition How to Talk About Utopia Without Saying Utopia (a project by Anthony Marcellini +Matthew David Rana) and distributed in San Francisco in April 2008.
Divining the Question: An Unscientific Methodology for the Collection of Warm Data (2006)
Essay written by Ghani for issue Viralzerosix of Viralnet, the online journal published by the Center for Integrated Media at CalArts. Expands on the concept of 'warm data' first discussed in the Index web project and developed further in the offshoot project Points of Proof.
Updated version with excerpts from Points of Proof postcards and Polaroids prepared for the Conversation Pieces exhibition reader in 2009.
Towards a Visual Language of Resistance
Collaborative text and print project for Bare Acts: The Sarai Reader 05; subsequently re-published in various forms in Pavilion, Samar, and the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. N.B. that only the critical text is included in the PDF, but the visual elements can be seen via the journal links.
Notes on the Disappeared (2004-10)
Prose poem by Ghani, based on fragments of text collected for/from the Index archive, published in an earlier version (Notes 2004-08) in Afsaneh Seesaneh: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan-American Literature, edited by Zohra Saed and Sahar Muradi.
Index of the Disappeared's initial project history (2004-06) can be found here.
How Do You See the Disappeared? A Warm Database, our first web project (commissioned by Turbulence in 2004), can be found here.
Information on and documentation of our March 2008 discussion series, Tracing the Index, can be found here.
Information on and documentation of our April 2014 conference Radical Archives can be found here.
Excerpts from a talk given by Mariam + Chitra at Hampshire College can be found here.
Online photo albums of documentation from recent exhibitions of the Index (2007-11) can be found at the following links.