Last night our friend Andrea Merli visited us and showed us some stunning fotos he took in Gaza, in areas where Israeli colonies used to be. Some of them, like Netzarim and Nisanit, apparently have been completely erased from the landscape. Nothing of the settlement, except some streets and the green houses (the only cultivated land) is there anymore.
Julien Lagumier, a French social anthropologist, will be talking about French colonial architecture and social housing through the issue of utopia/ heterotopia:
The global issue of how utopian models in term of conception have turned to heterotopias, while finished and appropriated by the populations because of social changes, conflicts, and segregation. I’ll present Casablanca and Algiers as two examples of French colonial cities under the influence of the ideas of modern architecture and social progress in the 60’s despite the colonial context. We’ll see how these models still reproduce the domination on local people and try to explain how they decolonized it after independence. In the same period, in France, the government answered to a strong housing crisis by applying the modern architecture principles and building housing schemes. Forty years later, these places host the poorer people, realize a perfect segregation. I’ll present how we try to answer this issue through real projects of renewal. The links between colonial architecture and housing schemes for social housing is that Algeria and Morocco have been a place of experimentations for French engineers and architects to conceive new models which have been brought back to France.
Today Yazid Anani brought about 30 students of his students (Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture program at Birzeit University) to the former military base of Oush Grab (Beit Sahur). They will develop projects that deal with the decolonization of this site.
There will be a preview of Decolonizing Architecture within the project Islands + Ghettos taking place at the Heidelberger Kunstverein in Heidelberg from February to September 2008.
The stereoscopic videos by Armin Linke and Francesco Mattuzzi will be shown during the exhibition (from 06.06. to 31.08.2008) and Alessandro Petti will give a lecture about the project on the 18th of June.
Tonight at 8:00 PM Alessandro Petti is giving a lecture about Decolonizing Architecture at the Alternative Information Center. The audio of the event will be recorded and put as a podcast on the AIC website.
Tomorrow, from 4:30 to 6:00 PM, Alessandro petti will hold a lecture about Decolonizing Architecture in Beirut at Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts. The lecture will be part of Home Works IV: A Forum on Cultural Practices, with exhibitions, lectures, panels, dance, performances, film and video screenings, and publications (April 12 to 20, 2008). See the whole program here.
The web platform for Decolonizing Architecture is going to be ready soon.
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