inverse surveillance project

THE INVERSE SURVEILLANCE PROJECT takes its names from the concept of citizen under-sight, an action undertaken by the subjects of surveillance, of the systems of surveillance. It is the community engagement and impact strategy for the award-winning, recently premiered film, THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED (Tribeca 2018). 

Building on the vital truth captured in the film about America’s national security state and how it impacts those targeted, the Inverse Surveillance Project engages in community storytelling and AI fueled truth-seeking to, on the one hand nurture a collective healing in American Muslim communities, and compel a radical transparency in government records and data. 

We use free screenings, modes of participatory storytelling, community town hall gatherings, public art interventions, FOIA trainings and crypto-workshops in key American Muslim communities across the country, and digitally on an interactive online platform, to create a space for communities traumatized by surveillance to build power, seek truth and heal. We intend to use AI to imagine what government accountability might look like and code a truth-seeking mechanism that helps us understand the root causes, patterns of suffering and social impact of U.S. government surveillance on communities of color.

This campaign has received support from:  PILLARS Fund; MacArthur Foundation; Ford Foundation; Chicago Media Project; New America Foundation; MIT Open Documentary Lab/ Co-Creation Studio; PBS “POV”;  Firelight Media; Muslim Wellness Foundation; GumShoe Project and M-Power Change.

Our campaign will kick-off ahead of our PBS National Broadcast on October 14th, check back here for more details soon.