Digital Checkpoints Exhibition


Jury Recognition: Afghan War Diary

Afghan War Diary


Matthieu Cherubini (Switzerland)


By logging onto the server for the online war game Counter Strike, Afghan War Diaries performs the everyday violence of U.S. invasion of Afghanistan by mapping data on military reports from WikiLeaks ‘Afghan War Diaries’ onto GoogleEarth display. 


A game mod, Counter Strike is a first-person shooter (FPS) game in which users join teams of terrorists and counter-terrorists. Once ‘killed’, users become spectators. A player’s ‘frags’ (killings) trigger Afghan War Diaries to search the databases of WikiLeaks. 


Virtual killing in Counter Strike, then, maps onto actual killing in Afghanistan within the distanced aesthetics of GoogleEarth’s interface.