Archives & Crime

To enter a collective archive is to carry an anonymous corpse on your shoulders. You are not investigating how this corpse met its death so much as feeling impelled, somehow, to fill in the gaps that render it anonymous. Whether or not you are hoping to tell the story and share it with others, you might be able to give this corpse a name and lend a meaning to its life. The corpse is the researcher’s question. Urgent, mysterious, distorted or even inconsistent, it is a question that issues from the present—the here and now—but which lacks the language required to speak it.


Archives & Crimes

Iman Mersel

Translated by
Robin Moger

The Nomadic Curriculum — A Manual Series

Series Editors
Stefan Aue, Lama El Khatib
Managing Editor
Natalie Ruhland
Project Administration
Anja Dunkel
Archive Books Editors
Chiara Figone, Sara Marcon
76 pages
12 x 16 cm
ISBN 978-3-948212-93-3
Euros 12,00

Books from The Nomadic Curriculum series are also available to be freely downloaded, read and shared.


This publication is part of Howdunnit, a series conceptualized by Kayfa ta in 2022. The first two books in this series are Archives & Crimes by Iman Mersal and Panorama by Merle Kröger.

These two books form volume 3 of The Nomadic Curriculum — A Manual Series, edited by Stefan Aue and Lama El Khatib / Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW).

The Nomadic Curriculum — A Manual Series are publications by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW). The series is part of The Whole Life. An Archive Project, a collaboration between Arsenal — Institute for Film and Video Art / Archive außer sich, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Pina Bausch Foundation, and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD). It is part of HKW’s project The New Alphabet, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media due to a ruling of the German Bundestag.