Interview with Laura Poitras: The Art of Disclosure

by Tatiana Bazzichelli
A conversation with American filmmaker Laura Poitras, who has chronicled America post-9/11 with her films. Along with Glenn Greenwald, she brought to light the documents of the NSA affair.

National Security Agency_headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland

The recent debate on the PRISM, XKeyscore and TEMPORA Internet surveillance programs, based on the Edward Snowden release of NSA material, symbolizes an increasing geopolitical control. New identities emerge: whistleblowers, cypherpunks, hacktivists and individuals that bring attention to abuses of government and large corporations, making the act of leaking a central part of their strategy. The transmediale conference stream ‘Hashes to Ashes’ highlights the current pervasive process of silencing—and metaphorically reducing to ashes—activities which expose misconducts in political, technological and economical systems, as well as to reflect on what burns underneath such process, advocating a different scenario.

Here is a conversation with American documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who has chronicled America post-9/11 with her films My Country, My Country (2006), The Oath (2010) and an upcoming work on the surveillance state and Edward Snowden’s disclosures. Along with Glenn Greenwald, she brought to light the documents of the NSA affair. At transmediale 2014, with independent security analyst Jacob Appelbaum and artist and geographer Trevor Paglen, Poitras will take part in the keynote event ‘Art as Evidence’ on Thursday January 30, Auditorium HKW, 20.30-22.30, moderated by Tatiana Bazzichelli.

The following interview was conducted in person on November 28, 2013, and by email. A shorter version of this interview was published in the transmediale magazine in January 2014.

Download the interview here.

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