Łukasz Stanek: Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War (2020)

28 September 2020, dusan

“In the course of the Cold War, architects, planners, and construction companies from socialist Eastern Europe engaged in a vibrant collaboration with those in West Africa and the Middle East in order to bring modernization to the developing world. Architecture in Global Socialism shows how their collaboration reshaped five cities in the Global South: Accra, Lagos, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City.

Łukasz Stanek describes how local authorities and professionals in these cities drew on Soviet prefabrication systems, Hungarian and Polish planning methods, Yugoslav and Bulgarian construction materials, Romanian and East German standard designs, and manual laborers from across Eastern Europe. He explores how the socialist development path was adapted to tropical conditions in Ghana in the 1960s, and how Eastern European architectural traditions were given new life in 1970s Nigeria. He looks at how the differences between socialist foreign trade and the emerging global construction market were exploited in the Middle East in the closing decades of the Cold War. Stanek demonstrates how these and other practices of global cooperation by socialist countries—what he calls socialist worldmaking—left their enduring mark on urban landscapes in the postcolonial world.

Featuring an extensive collection of previously unpublished images, Architecture in Global Socialism draws on original archival research on four continents and a wealth of in-depth interviews. This incisive book presents a new understanding of global urbanization and its architecture through the lens of socialist internationalism, challenging long-held notions about modernization and development in the Global South.”

Publisher Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2020
ISBN 0691168709, 9780691168708
368 pages

Reviews: Gregor Harbusch (BauNetz, 2020), Alexander Adams (The Critic, 2020), Owen Hatherley (The Guardian, 2020).

Interview with author (Hilde Heynen & Sebastiaan Loosen, Architectural Histories, 2019)

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (55 MB)

The Funambulist by its Readers: Political Geographies from Chicago and Elsewhere (2019)

20 September 2019, dusan

“Initiated in 2015 as a print and online magazine, The Funambulist does not understand architecture as the authored design of inhabitable sculptures, but rather as the discipline that organizes bodies in space. With such a perspective, we have attempted to detach ourselves from architecture as a discipline and have focused instead on formulating spatial approaches to anti-colonial, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, queer, trans, feminist, anti-ableist political struggles and that against which they fight.

For this book commissionned by the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019, we have invited 20 regular readers (many of whom are also contributors) of The Funambulist to pick, among the many texts we published in our 22 first issues, the one that appeared to them as the most politically useful. We are republishing these texts here, as well as their introductions, written by these 20 guests.

In addition to this, we asked five Chicago-based activists to write about the spatial politics of their city in relation to settler colonialism, the municipality, the police, the real estate pressure, as well as the school system. At a crucial moment following the change of administration, this appeared to us as the most politically useful thing we could do to propagate the voices of those active on the ground.”

Edited by Léopold Lambert, et al.
Publisher The Funambulist, Paris, Sep 2019
Open access
ISBN 9782956935803
234 pages

Publisher

PDF (34 MB)

Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal, Eyal Weizman: Architecture after Revolution: Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (2013)

17 September 2019, dusan

“The work presented in this book is an invitation to undertake an urgent architectural and political thought experiment: to rethink today’s struggles for justice and equality not only from the historical perspective of revolution, but also from that of a continued struggle for decolonization; consequently, to rethink the problem of political subjectivity not from the point of view of a Western conception of a liberal citizen but rather from that of the displaced and extraterritorial refugee. You will not find here descriptions of popular uprising, armed resistance, or political negotiations, despite these of course forming an integral and necessary part of any radical political transformation. Instead, the authors present a series of provocative projects that try to imagine “the morning after revolution.”

Located on the edge of the desert in the town of Beit Sahour in Palestine, the architectural collective Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) has since 2007 combined discourse, spatial intervention, collective learning, public meetings, and legal challenges to open an arena for speculating about the seemingly impossible: the actual transformation of Israel’s physical structures of domination. Against an architectural history of decolonization that sought to reuse colonial architecture for the same purpose for which it was originally built, DAAR sees opportunities in a set of playful propositions for the subversion, reuse, profanation, and recycling of these structures of domination and the legal infrastructures that sustain them.

DAAR’s projects should be understood as a series of architectural fables set in different locations: an abandoned military base near Beit Sahour, the refugee camp of Dheisheh in Bethlehem, the remnants of three houses on the Jaffa beach, the uncompleted Palestinian Parliament building, the historical village of Battir, the village of Miska destroyed during the Nakba, and the red-roofed West Bank colony of Jabel Tawil (P’sagot) next to Ramallah-El Bireh.”

Publisher Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2013
ISBN 9783943365795, 3943365794
205 pages
via authors

Review: Nick Axel (Domus, 2014).
Commentary: Stephanie Bailey (Ibraaz, 2014).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (17 MB)