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Targeted: A Conversation with Artists Hasan Elahi and Josh Begley

  • When
  • November 19, 2014
    1:30–8:00 p.m. (EST)
  • Where
  • Open Society Foundations–New York
    224 West 57th Street
    New York, NY 10019
    United States of America
  • Programs

In 2002, Baltimore-based artist Hasan Elahi became the subject of a six-month-long FBI investigation after an erroneous tip linked him to terrorist activities. Multiple interrogations and lie detector tests eventually cleared him.

A year later—as revealed by the Associated Press in 2011—the New York City Police Department created the Demographics Unit (later named the Zone Assessment Unit), a secret unit that mapped and monitored New York’s Muslim communities, their places of worship, and the businesses they frequent.

Join us for a conversation with artists Hasan Elahi and Josh Begley, who use their art to respond to these incidents and reflect on racial profiling and the culture of surveillance in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The conversation will be moderated by Patricia J. Williams, author of the “Diary of a Mad Law Professor” column for The Nation.

This discussion is organized to coincide with the Open Society Documentary Photography Project’s Moving Walls 22 / Watching You, Watching Me exhibition, which explores the intersection of photography and surveillance.


  • Hasan Elahi is an interdisciplinary artist and associate professor of art at the University of Maryland.
  • Josh Begley is a data artist, web developer, and research editor at The Intercept.
  • Patricia J. Williams (moderator) is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a columnist for The Nation.

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