Edmund Clark and Crofton Black
Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition
DEAR FRIEND OF 8 BOOKS A YEAR,
This book is a real life James Bond file. One without dangerous ladies, wonder weapons or pompous temples of evil. Instead, it comes with bureaucrats, torture and run-down warehouses. And while watching a 007 movie might be entertaining, I'd describe the experience of going through these pages as disconcerting. No worries, there's not a single photo in this book which you should be warned about looking at beforehand. No, it's the kafkaesque feeling that engulfs us when we get an idea of the tremendous apparatus which is at work here. It's hidden, poorly monitored, ugly and ultrabanal all at the same time. The incredible amount of work Edmund Clark and Crofton Black had to invest to collect all these snippets and pieces of evidence – or "artefacts" as they themselves call them – made me realize how difficult it is to unveil such obscure activities … not to mention the risks the authors very likely have to take. I once learned that it is not hate that is the opposite of love, but fear. We also know that the idea of "fighting fire with fire" usually just results in more fire. I regard the making of this book to be a fearless act of love. It's still a privilege to live in a society where we're allowed and able to produce, to purchase and to read a book like this. With its help we should dare to look behind the curtain. After having done so already, I'd suggest starting with the excellent afterword, written by Eyal Weizman. The yellow pages provide the required background information on the documents and photos. What you're holding in your hands right now really deserves your attention and maybe 1 or 2 hours of your time. Less than an average visit to the cinema.
All my best,
Christian Kaspar Schwarm