Architectural Profanations

DAAR, Burning the facade in Borgo Rizza, Photo: Rehaf Batniji

One of our goals at Borgo Rizza is to de-normalize its fascist architecture; to critically reflect on the very fact that this architecture was not demolished. Today, most of it is actually in need of restoration. And it’s almost 100 years old, so technically, it’s about to officially become Italian heritage. The trick that architectural historians have used to evade problematizing this difficult heritage has been to separate its formal aspects from its political, social, and environmental motivations. With our interventions at Borgo Rizza, we’re attempting to reconnect this architecture to the historical moment when it was produced, but also to reintroduce it into the present. At a time in which migrant populations continue to arrive in Sicily from former colonies (Libya, Eritrea, and Ethiopia), it is necessary to ask, who has the right to use this colonial–fascist architecture?

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