Dr Arely Cruz-Santiago
Byrne House SF6
Dr Arely Cruz-Santiago is Co-Investigator of ESRC transformative research project ‘Data Justice in Mexico’s Multiveillant Society’which explores new ways to engage with big data in order to tackle the inherent asymmetries in social media, and surveillance capitalism. Her research agenda sits at the forefront of the social studies of forensic science and human geography.
Prior to this position, she held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Geography Department at Durham University, where she also completed her PhD in 2017. Her fellowship Forensic Citizens: The Politics of Searching for Disappeared Persons analysed citizen-led forms of forensic governance in contexts of protracted conflict (e.g. Colombia and Mexico). For the last seven years, Arely has examined grass-roots forensic practices such as the collection of DNA data, the analysis of victims’ records, the use of GPS, CCTV images and drones to aid in the location of clandestine burial sites.
From 2014-2016, while pursuing her PhD, Arely was the Co-Investigator in the ESRC-funded project ‘Citizen Led Forensics: DNA & data-banking as technologies of disruption-a novel way to learn and intervene in the search for the disappeared in Mexico’. This project set the basis for a participatory research strategy to jointly create and design, with families of disappeared persons, two citizen-led forensic technologies: A data registry of disappearances; and the first DNA database created for, and by, relatives of the disappeared. Dr Cruz-Santiago’s research has informed this research agenda since 2011, when received seed funds to launch the feasibility study to create ‘Citizen-Led forensics’ as PI of a grant supported by Singularity University.
Dr Cruz-Santiago is advisor to the IOM (Missing Migrants Project) and member of the global community of practice ICRC Missing Persons Project.
Funding awarded to support high quality publications by Social Sciences and Health postgraduate research students. £1756
External impact and engagement
2019 Semi-finalist at the ESRC Celebrating Impact Award for my role as a Co-Investigator in the project ‘Citizen-led Forensics’ (Geography Durham) and my work as PDRA on the project ‘Strategic Network on Unacceptable forms of Work’ (Durham Law School).
2019 Research Adviser for the play El Sheriff (Theatre O) London, UK.
2017 Silent Witness, script advisor for the season finale title ‘Awakening’ part 1 and part 2, celebrating 20 years of the Drama in BBC One. Episodes inspired in Citizen-Led Forensics (ESRC funded): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08d292b
2015 Didactic Materials on how to take a DNA sample and engage in Citizen-Led Forensics: www.cienciaforenseciudadana.org
2015 ‘Promise’: a song for the disappeared, at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrqGNxiB7yk
2014 Citizen-Led Forensics-Introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljQvB14nISg
2012 President and Co-founder (since 2012) of Gobernanza Forense Ciudadana. A.C., Civil Society Organisation that fosters citizen-led technologies to intervene in the Mexican forensic and socio-political scenario. www.gobernanzaforense.org