Nina Valerie Kolowratnik is a PhD researcher within the Human Rights Centre at Ghent University. Her research focuses on Indigenous peoples’ knowledge in human rights courts and the impact of the evidentiary regime on access to justice and knowledge representation, and is part of the larger ERC-funded project “DISSECT: Evidence in International Human Rights Adjudication” under the supervision of Professor Marie-Bénédicte Dembour.
Nina holds an MSc in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia University, where she was a Fulbright fellow, and a BSc and MSc in Architecture from Graz University of Technology.
Following her postgraduate studies, she founded a research and advocacy practice that develops spatial visualization systems operating as translational tools in the context of forced migration, cultural claims to territory and Indigenous rights. Nina’s book The Language of Secret Proof: Indigenous Truth and Representation (Sternberg Press, 2019) examines evidence production and cultural secrecy within Native American land claims and presents a set of alternative evidentiary drawings–developed with members and Elders of Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico–that respect and work within a culture organized around secrecy. Recently Nina’s work has been shown at Kunsthalle Exnergasse Vienna, Rotor Center for Contemporary Art Graz, Stacion CCA Prishtina, the Venice Architecture Biennale and the Oslo Architecture Triennale. Her research has been supported by The Architectural League of New York and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts, among other. In 2016 she received the Outstanding Artist Award in Experimental Tendencies in Architecture by the Austrian Federal Chancellery.
Between 2014 and 2018 Nina was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a Lecturer and Research Associate at Vienna University of Technology’s Faculty of Architecture, where she taught graduate courses on borderlands, migration and visual counter narratives.