This article examines three cultural productions about the so-called Tragedy of Lampedusa of 2013 that treat the disaster as an event-as-such. I discuss two plays by Antonio Umberto Riccò (Germany) and a documentary video by Antonio Maggiore (Italy), which I describe as civil investigations of the disaster. These productions exemplify how individuals in the cultural field can respond when authorities misrepresent events. I first develop the notion of civil investigation to capture a form of cultural intervention to correct an injustice. I show how civil investigation is both a product and a producer of civil imagination – a capacity to see the world in terms of conviviality. Second, I argue that cultural genres such as plays and films, which require a longer production time than journalism, are also more enduring in cultural circulation.