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Event series 'War in Raqqa, Syria: Rhetoric versus Reality'

last modified Oct 31, 2019 04:33 PM
CGHR and Queens’ College are co-hosting an interactive exhibition by Amnesty International on ‘War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality’ in Michaelmas 2019 (open Mon - Fri, 10am - 3.30pm). This will be accompanied by a series of events on digital human rights evidence and Syria.

Digital Verification Workshop

Verifying Social Media Content Using Open Source Investigation (19th November, 5pm, Angevin Room, Queens' College)

Join the Centre of Governance and Human Rights’ (CGHR) Digital Verification Corps (DVC), student experts trained by Amnesty International, for a workshop in the facticity of image and videos circulating on social media.

Learn the basics of establishing provenance, geo-locating, pinpointing the time, and investigating the source of digital images and video circulating on social media through a series of hands-on exercises.

Seating is limited, so please book a place below.


Exhibition opening- War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality

Panel talk with Amnesty and Cambridge researchers who investigated the 2017 Coalition bombing of Raqqa, Syria and launch of art exhibition. (18th October, 5.15pm, Angevin Room, Queens' College)

It has been two years since the US-led Coalition’s military campaign to oust the so-called “Islamic State” from Raqqa, Syria. This campaign was among the most destructive in modern warfare, leaving Raqqa is the most destroyed city in modern times. The offensive, lasting from June to October 2017, which included aerial bombardments by UK forces, killed and injured thousands of residents and reduced their homes, businesses and infrastructure to rubble.

This panel will feature Amnesty International and Cambridge researchers who investigated the devastation caused by the campaign (see Amnesty's Senior Crisis Advisor, Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's Digital Verification Corps Manager, Sam Dubberly, and Cambridge Student Co-Lead of the Digital Verification Corps, Matt Mahmoudi, will discuss the investigation and the campaign in the context of current events in Syria. After the talks, there will be a drinks reception to launch Amnesty's art exhibition, 'War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality.

Seating is limited, so please book here to reserve your place:

The discussion opening the exhibition will be followed by drinks (6.30pm onwards).

The exhibition (Fitzpatrick Gallery, Queens College) will be open until 6th December 2019 (Mon-Fri, 10am - 3.30pm).



Amnesty International has been investigating the Raqqa military campaign for over two years, which to date has included multiple visits to the destroyed city between February 2018 and February 2019. There, its investigators surveyed more than 200 strike sites and interviewed more than 400 witnesses and survivors. Exhibited here are examples of the impact of the military campaign on the city’s people and communities. Photographs, videos and 360-degree immersive experiences documented in Raqqa, combined with satellite imagery and maps, allow viewers to explore the stories of families who lived and died during the war in Raqqa. Throughout the exhibition, travel through the city to meet survivors, hear their stories and explore the ruins of their homes.

This exhibition complements Amnesty International’s interactive webbased platform which presents the findings of the investigation.


Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Adviser - Amnesty International, London

Sam Dubberley, Digital Verification Corps Manager - Amnesty International, Berlin

Matt Mahmoudi, Student Co-Lead, Cambridge Digital Verification Corps