The ongoing project Wikiland begins as an exploration of media representations of Julian Assange, founder of whistleblower platform WikiLeaks. In 2010 the platform published information about US war crimes in Iraq, including the killing of civilians by US military. Shortly after being hailed as a hero, Assange faced rape allegations in Sweden. This led to an exceptionally prolonged investigation over a period of nine years, during which Assange was first under house arrest, then took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London. The investigation was dropped in 2019, and Assange was never charged with a crime. Yet he remains incarcerated, now at Belmarsh, a maximum-security prison in London. He faces possible extradition to the US and lifetime imprisonment due to accusations of espionage. The Wikiland project examines powerful anti-democratic forces and attacks on press freedom, as well as questioning photography’s ability to portray complex matters in a time of unprecedented disinformation.
The Wikiland project began in 2011 when Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt were among very few photographers to be invited to Norfolk, England, where Assange was living under house arrest after Swedish authorities had applied for his extradition from the UK. The artists photographed details of Assange’s surroundings, but they never focused on the man himself. Instead, their aim was to explore the expectations placed on images emerging from situations heavily covered by the media.
Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt, 2011
Book made together with 1:2:3 (Axel von Friesen and Petter Törnqvist), B-B-B-Books, 2011