The infrastructure of the colonial territories obeyed the logic of economic exploitation, territorial domain and commercial dynamics among others that left deep marks in the constructed landscape. The rationales applied to the decisions behind the construction of infrastructures varied according to the historical period, the political model of colonial administration and the international conjuncture.
This congress seeks to bring to the knowledge of the scientific community the dynamics of occupation of colonial territory, especially those involving agents related to architecture and urbanism and its repercussions in the same territories as independent countries.
It is hoped to address issues such as how colonial infrastructure has conditioned the current development models of the new countries or what options taken by colonial administrations have been abandoned or otherwise strengthened after independence.
The congress is part of the ongoing research project entitled "Coast to Coast - Late Portuguese Infrastructural Development in Continental Africa (Angola and Mozambique): Critical and Historical Analysis and Postcolonial Assessment" funded by ‘Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia’ (FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology), which has as partner the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (FCG).
The aim of this congress is to extend the debate on the repercussions of the decisions taken by the colonial states in the area of territorial infrastructures - in particular through the disciplines of architecture and urbanism - in post-independence development models and the formation of new countries with colonial past.
The communications should be submitted to a session chosen from the options presented beneath (which result from the previous 'call for sessions'). The descriptions of each session are presented after the list, and you can reach a specific description by clicking in its title from the list. The chair(s) will support the selection of communications, and will be responsible for the introduction and moderation of the sessions.
1. Projecting Power in Colonial and Post-Colonial Angola and Mozambique: Architecture, Urban Design, Public Art and Monuments (Jeremy Ball, Gerbert Verheij)
This panel will analyze the concrete and symbolic articulations of power expressed by the colonial and independent governments of Angola and Mozambique through the lens of public space, architecture, urban design and public art. We will interrogate whether there is an identifiable aesthetics to these urban spaces in which design and “art” represent power and convey messages of history and nationhood. To what extent such ideological demands affected the work of those agents involved in the production of urban space (planners, architects, but also bureaucrats or artists)? Have models of projecting power in urban space adopted by colonial administrations been abandoned, appropriated, challenged or continued since independence? We are particularly interested in exploring views which transcend a focus on the capitals of both countries, and/or link the different modes of urban design to the colonial development policies (including urban development) of the 1960s and early 1970s. We are also interested in the reactions to these spaces and symbols of power before and after independence. Monuments and other symbols of colonial power have been destroyed, removed, abandoned and substituted but also maintained, moved to museum contexts or given new meanings. Writers, photographers and others have interpreted and represented these symbols, often proposing different readings than those originally intended. To what extent, and by what means, did these spaces realize their political and ideological intentions? How and to what extent were their messages forgotten, eluded or appropriated?
Jeremy Ball, PhD., is Associate Professor of History at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA. His book Angola’s Colossal Lie: Forced Labor on a Sugar Plantation, 1913-1977 (Brill, 2015) examines the workings of forced labor and how it fit in to the business model of one of Angola’s most profitable colonial companies. His current research examines Angola’s post-independence, nationalist mythologies.
Gerbert Verheij is a researcher at the Institute of Art History (FCSH-UNL). He received his Ph.D. in Public Space and Urban Regeneration from the University of Barcelona; his thesis examines the link between aesthetic aspirations, urban design and institutional practices in early 20th-century Lisbon. His research interests include the placement and political use of monuments in colonial Mozambique.
2. China in African, Latin American and Caribbean territories: Examining spatial transformations around diplomacy and economic aid (Valeria Guzmán Verri, Natalia Solano Meza)
The key position China has come to occupy in the world economy has seen the implementation of transnational cooperation policies in the form of direct investment and concessional/soft loans for the construction of infrastructure space around the globe. A longer history of Chinese diplomatic strategies has played a major role in forging such economic alliances. Often presented as based on principles such as “mutual benefit,” these can carry development narratives, which are particularly sensitive in the case of countries with colonial pasts, notably those in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The China-CELAC Cooperation Plan promotes “infrastructure development” in ports, roads, business logistics, broadband, radio/TV, agriculture, energy, housing and urban development. The One Belt-One Road initiative includes submarine cables between Cameroon and Brazil, a railway corridor in Tanzania, and hydroelectric and nuclear stations in Argentina. These projects, where extractivism, infrastructure and technology converge, makes them, as Keller Easterling argues, “too large to be assessed as an object with a name, a shape, or an outline.” In architecture, a methodological question arises as to how to examine these spatial situations. Might a possible approach lie in Easterling’s notion of disposition as “a tendency, activity, faculty, or property in either beings or objects—a propensity within a context”? Could disposition, as an agency in a process that may be diverted, adjusted or redesigned, thus serve as a means for examination? This session calls for papers on the potentially radical transformations in global infrastructure space following China’s recent diplomatic and cooperation strategies, mainly in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. We are interested in the methodological challenges that analysing these transformations might demand on the discipline, with special consideration of types of connection and interaction beyond reductionist “East/West” approaches. Proposals are welcome on the interplay of variables between: project implementation and logistics, diplomatic favours associated with building/infrastructure networks, transnational dynamics of goods, labour and know-how. Papers may also examine subjacent development/power discourses, histories of cancelation, postponement or concealed rejection, or discrepancies between declared (spatial, environmental, social) intent and undisclosed activities.
Valeria Guzmán Verri (University of Costa Rica) has a PhD in Histories and Theories of Architecture from the Architectural Association School of Architecture (2010). Her research interests include the visual culture of modern and contemporary architectural design, and the relations between form, knowledge and power. She is Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture and on the Society and Culture PhD Programme at the University of Costa Rica. Currently she is a Visiting Researcher at Southeast University, Nanjing, China
Natalia Solano Meza (University of Costa Rica) has doctoral Studies on “Project, Theories and Histories” at FAUP, Porto, Portugal under the tutelage of Alexandre Alves Costa and Jorge Figueira. Her research/work topics are: Tropical Architecture, Postcolonial Studies, Colonial/Postcolonial Narratives, Architecture and Decolonisation, Architectural Pedagogies, Dissident Practices in Architecture, Latin American Regionalisms. She is Invited Lecturer and Researcher at the School of Architecture, University of Costa Rica.
3. Spaces in the Americas: current efforts towards a non-Eurocentric theory (Fernando Luiz Lara, Marcio Cotrim Cunha)
To study the built environment of the Americas is to deal with an inherent contradiction. While our disciplines of architecture, urban design, landscape, and planning share the fundamental belief that spaces matter; an overwhelming majority of our knowledge comes from another continent. As reminded by Edward Said in the classic “Orientalism” of 1974, European culture developed narratives about all other societies on Earth and as a result, established itself as the center of human knowledge. This session departs from asking what is the place of the Americas in a global history of the built environment? One possible answer is given by Roberto Fernández in his seminal El Laboratório Americano. Fernández discusses how architectural theory, to this day, treats the Americas as the a special kind of periphery that turns into an eternal laboratory, in which experiences are systematically abandoned by new ones. America thus becomes the place of modernity par excellence, of eternal novelty, a perpetual state of infancy to use an ethnocentric Hegelian concept that should be outdated but insists in framing our narrative. Adrian Gorelik reinforces the idea of a laboratory, and specifically attributes to the city in Latin America the role of "the machine to invent modernity". Following this thought into Arturo Escobar’s critique of colonialism as the B-side of modernization, this session plans to discuss different ways in which a unique American spatial concept was used as a lever to project modernity forward. The transversal view of certain typologies in urban centers of the Americas allows us to identify simultaneous processes of urbanization, industrialization, modernization and metropolization that, as a hypothesis for this session, have defined unique urban problems and has been capable of generating unique solutions suggesting more convergences than those drawn in European countries that have served (and continue to serve) as models. Examples are many: the radicalization of the suburban experience in North America; the verticalization of housing units all over the continent; the automobile-oriented cities such as Los Angeles and Caracas; and Brasilia as the climax of this singularly American process. We invite papers that look as comparatively as possible into modern experiences in the Americas in order to inch closer to a systematization of what it means to build modern spaces in our continent.
Fernando Luiz Lara (University of Texas at Austin) is Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. A Brazilian architect with degrees from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (BArch, 1993) and the University of Michigan (PhD, 2001). The author of several books and hundreds of articles. Prof. Lara writes extensively on a variety of issues regarding the Latin American built environment. In 2015 Prof. Lara published, together with Luis Carranza, the first comprehensive survey of Modern Architecture in Latin America.
Marcio Cotrim Cunha (Federal University of Paraíba - UFPB - Brazil) is Ph.D. in History of Architecture from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (2008). Since 2011, he is a Full Professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism, UFPB. He has published several papers in different journals and is the author of the books: 'Arquitecturas de lo cotidiano La obra de Ribas Arquitectos' (RG 2008); 'Vilanova Artigas: casas paulistas' (RG 2017). Currently, he is editor of DOCOMOMO Brasil Journal and a visiting scholar at the University of Texas at Austin.
4. Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructures, Literature and Culture (Dominic Davies, Elleke Boehmer)
This session builds on Elleke Boehmer and Dominic Davies’ co-edited collection, Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructures, Literature and Culture (Palgrave, 2018), which brought the insights of social geographers and cultural historians into a critical dialogue with literary narratives of urban culture and theories of literary cultural production. It sets out to explore new ways of conceptualising the relationship between post/colonial urban planning, its often violent effects, and different forms of literature, art and culture. Inviting comparisons between the spatial pasts and presents of the post-imperial and post/colonial cities of London, Delhi and Johannesburg, as well as other city case studies such as Chicago, Belfast, Jerusalem and Mumbai, the session considers whether urban formations within the city, such as the square, the marketplace, the boulevard, or the grid, instead of fulfilling the emancipatory promise brought by colonial modernity, were actually the built expression of governmental strategies that exacerbated rather than contained social violence. While the session will explore the continuing violent legacy of colonial and neo-colonial urban planning in diverse contexts from several different continents, it will also just as importantly ask contributors to analyse how the literary writing of both the colonial and postcolonial eras, including poetry, fiction and theatre/performance, as well as graphic and visual cultures from graffiti to comics art, is able to reflect on this language of planning. Is it able to incorporate urban violence and civil unrest within its formal and thematic scope? Through interdisciplinary dialogue, the session therefore sets out to answer the following questions: what are the continuities between colonial urban planning and newer patterns of violence in postcolonial urban spaces, especially as relayed in literary writing? How are certain spaces of exclusion, containment and marginalization built into the governmental infrastructure of colonial and then postcolonial multi-ethnic cities? And how does literary and cultural production diagnose, subvert and resist these regimes? Might literary and cultural productions actively contest the infrastructures of planned violence, and perhaps even imagine alternative ways of inhabiting post/colonial city spaces?
Dominic Davies is Lecturer in English at City, University of London. He is the author of Imperial Infrastructure and Spatial Resistance in Colonial Literature, 1880-1930 (Peter Lang, 2017) and Urban Comics: Infrastructure and the Global City in Contemporary Graphic Narratives (Routledge, 2018). He is also the the co-editor of Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructures, Literature, and Culture (Palgrave, 2018).
Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literature in English at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Centre for Life Writing. She is the author or editor of over twenty books relating broadly to the fields of colonial and postcolonial literature and culture. She is the co-editor of Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructures, Literature, and Culture (Palgrave, 2018), and her website is: www.ellekeboehmer.com.
5. Infrastructural development in the European Portuguese territory in the late colonial period (Paulo Tormenta Pinto, João Paulo Delgado)
The late period of the Portuguese dictatorship was marked by a vast economical impulse. The National Development Plans, launched in 1953 with the support of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), introduced a shift, aligning the country in the same cycle of the European reconstruction through the Marshal Plan. In 1960 the accession of Portugal to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) increased this development process, through the opening of the country to foreign investments. In 1968, Marcelo Caetano, who became the Prime Minister succeeding Oliveira Salazar, inaugurated the so-called 'marcelist spring' period. During those years the infrastructural investments were planned not only in the colonial overseas territories (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape-Verde, São Tomé and Prince, East Timor, and Macao) but also in the European homeland. After the Salazar Bridge construction over the Tagus River, concluded in 1966, the port of Sines and the Alqueva dam were the most important investments of the regime. Those strategic infrastructures were part of a set of an ambitious plan which foresaw territorial domain, the exploitation of raw materials, and the growth of commercial dynamics. The role of the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC) was determinant in this period, largely contributing to surveying the development of building technologies such as concrete and steel, and also to the homologation of other materials and components essential to national policies. This session is opened to proposals resulting from researches on critical and historical analysis concerning the infrastructural development in the European Portuguese territory in the late colonial period. Furthermore, the session welcomes any other related comparative studies, in order to jointly reflect upon synchronic processes taking place in other mainland and/or colonized territories.
Paulo Tormenta Pinto (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa - DINAMIA/CET-IUL). Architecture graduation at the Lusíada University, in 1993. Master degree and Ph.D. at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, concluded 1996 and 2004 respectively. He is Associated Professor at the Department of Architecture and Urbanism. He served that Department as President, between 2007 and 2010, being also Director of the Ph.D. program, between 2011 and 2017. Currently he is the Director of the Integrated Master in Architecture and an Integrated researcher at DINÂMIA'CET-IUL.
João Paulo Delgado (Beira Interior University - Porto Architectural School Research Centre). Architect by the Lisbon School of Architecture (FAUTL), 1986. Master degree in by FAUTL, 1998. PhD degree in Architecture by the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), 2015. Associate researcher at DINÂMIA’CET-IUL. Currently Invited Assistant Professor at the Beira Interior University, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and FCT grant recipient for postdoctoral research project at the Porto Architectural School Research Centre.
6. Peripheral infrastructures in late colonial cities (Tiago Castela)
In European settler cities in occupied African territories, most black urbanites were forced by the colonial state apparatuses to live in self-built sections of the city described by expert knowledge as peripheral, even though such areas were sometimes central, and denser than settler sections. One of the main distinguishing characteristics of these unequally divided cities was the unbalanced state provision of public infrastructure, even though often the abyss between the two sections was more discursive than material: elements of privileged urban infrastructure like sewerage systems and sidewalks were often also lacking in settler neighborhoods. Nevertheless, it has often been assumed by scholarship that urban peripheries for African workers in late colonial cities had little or no public infrastructure. This session intends to understand the diverse ways in which situated state apparatuses engaged in the creation of public infrastructure in the African sections of settler cities, from the beginning of modern colonial occupation in the late nineteenth century to political independence. Papers examining the ways in which state practices articulated a graduated urban citizenship are welcome, as well as research that is attentive both to infrastructure creation by urbanites, or to “people as infrastructure,” to paraphrase Simone. Contributions based on innovative archival research methods, aiming at understanding actual state practices and everyday experiences of infrastructure vis-à-vis formal plans, are particularly appreciated.
Tiago Castela (Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra) is a historian of architecture and planning. He teaches and does research on the political dimension of urban space, with a focus on southwestern Europe and southern Africa in the Twentieth Century. He holds a PhD in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a permanent Research Associate at the Center for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, where he is a member of the research group on Cities, Cultures, and Architecture (CCArq).
7. Single and collective housing as a modern laboratory in colonial territories: from public order to private initiative (Ana Magalhães)
Architectural production in colonial territories, in Africa or in Asia, was a fertile breeding ground for the experimentation of new collective and single housing models, particularly during the second post-war period. While new universally tending languages associated with the Modern Movement were rehearsed, a response to the specificity of the climate and geography and the creation of bridges with local cultures were also sought. Researches around housing and context interpretation readings allowed for the creation of a vast architectural heritage that is as iconic as polemical nowadays. An example of this is Maison Tropicale, a standard prototype designed by Jean Prouvé for the former French colonies of Niger and Congo, or the Sarabhai or Shodan private houses designed by Le Corbusier for Ahmedabad city in the then recently-created Indian Union. But, while such houses, designed by foreign architects, correspond to importing international models that reflect interpretations of local contexts, one should also stress the role of local architects, many albeit with outside training, such as the case of the work of Geoffrey Bawa in Sri Lanka or Pancho Miranda Guedes in Mozambique, who, in a critical approach, assert a new sense of reality in their designs. This session intends to contribute to a critical comprehensive study of collective and single housing works erected in the former Asian and African territories during the last period of colonialism, in the transition to independence of the States, and allow for a contemporaneous insight of the works, procedures or authors, admitting a large range of themes or issues, for which we will welcome: case studies on collective housing or single houses, their programmes, models and typology variations and formal interpretations in colonial geographies; studies researching the role of colonial governments on housing policy; papers exploiting the relevance and incentive of the private order in house design; researches around the social, cultural and architectural impact, whether negative or positive, had by housing works on the construction of the identity of the new States; studies equating new uses for house space and examining contemporaneous housing building conversion, adaptation and re-use procedures.
Ana Magalhães (Universidade Lusíada | CITAD). Architect (1988, FAUTL). Master’s degree in Architectural Theory (ULL, 2001). Phd thesis: “Migrações do Moderno. Arquitectura na Diáspora – Angola e Moçambique” (ULL, 2015). Assistant Professor at Universidade Lusíada since 1990. Research Fellow at CITAD. Published the book “Moderno Tropical- Arquitectura em Angola e Moçambique, 1948-1975”, ed. Tinta da China (2009), awarded with DAM Architectural Book Award 2010. Architect and partner at Atelier do Convento since 1989.
8. Beyond Colonialism: Afro-Modernist Agents and Tectonics as Expression of Cultural Independence (Milia Lorraine Khoury, Diogo P. Henriques)
‘I claim for architects the rights and liberties that painters and poets have held for so long.’ - Pancho Guedes
During the 20th century, several innovative experiments in architecture, infrastructure and cities developed in many African countries and particularly in the Lusophone African Countries. Both under the colonial rule of European countries and empowered by independence processes. Thus, it allowed for more free explorations in function, material and form, when compared to their European counterpoints. These experiments defined not only Afro
Modernism but can also be seen as the tentative construction of an expression for cultural independence. Ranging from housing, public buildings and public space, to tectonic expressions that are fundamentally different from the ones proposed and built in Europe. For example in Mozambique, a key cultural agent such as ‘Pancho’ Guedes (1925-2015), a Portuguese architect and artist who received considerable international recognition, developed innovative experiments in Modernist tectonics that can be seen as an expression of cultural independence in Mozambique. While defining and redefining the expanding possibilities of the field of architecture and international networks (e.g. Team X) from a global perspective.
This session aims to focus on the understanding of the key role of such ‘cultural agents’ from the perspective of architecture, urbanism and landscape. Discussing their role in the construction of cultural independence in Lusophone African countries and other African countries, both during colonialism and post-colonialism. These cultural agents can be both recognised individuals, such as the architects ‘Pancho’ Guedes, Cristina Salvador (1947-2011), and institutions or collectives not yet identified and studied in-depth.
The session will group such cultural agents, across countries and time. In order to discuss the potentials and pitfalls of the Modernist vision in colonial and post-colonial architecture, cities and infrastructure in Lusophone Africa and other former European colonies in Africa. Contemporary issues such as sustainability, climate change, public engagement and international networks will further frame the session for analysis and discussion. Thus opening new perspectives and thoughts to imagine landscapes beyond colonialism. These cross-time discussions can be significantly important when considering that several population projections foresee that the African continent will have some of the largest mega-cities in the future.
Milia Lorraine Khoury completed a BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art & Design at Central Saint Martins College (London) in 1999. In 2003 and 2008, she obtained a BA Fine Arts degree and a Masters in Philosophy in Fine Arts degree from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. She has taught at tertiary level for 16 years and has published several papers on art and architecture. Currently, she lectures in History/ Theory of Art & Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town.
Diogo Pereira Henriques is a full-time funded PhD candidate and a former senior research assistant in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Northumbria University at Newcastle (UK). Prior, he was awarded his Diploma and MSc in Architecture, at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon, where he was also an assistant in a FCT funded research project, and an exchange student at TU Eindhoven and UPC Barcelona.
This session was developed with the help of Pedro Namorado Borges, currently a research assistant at Social Sciences Institute in Lisbon, working for the project “Housing. One Hundred Years of Public Policies, 1918-2018,” funded by the Urban Housing and Rehabilitation Institute (IRHU). He is a PhD candidate with the project thesis approved at ISCTE and published in 2015 a book about the housing social projects from the Architect Vítor Figueiredo. He was awarded his Diploma in Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon, and an exchange student at TU Berlin and the University of Tokyo. He also works on his independent architecture practice based in Portugal.
9. (De)constructing the Right to the City: Infrastructural policies and practices in Portuguese-speaking African countries
(Sílvia Viegas, Sílvia Jorge)
Portuguese-speaking African countries, namely Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Prince, faced important political-economic and social transformations after their liberations (1973-75). Given the geopolitical context, these countries went through a brief socialist period (1975/1985-90) before opening their national economies to (inter)national markets, totally in tune with the expansion and consolidation of a fierce global neoliberal matrix currently strengthening, enduring and prevailing. Regarding the development strategies and dynamics, these African countries were also puzzled by the relations established between them and with the ex-coloniser country. In its turn, Portugal's inflection towards Europe was contaminated by newly arrived Portuguese-speaking African populations carrying different cultures and ways of inhabiting. Given these complex dynamics, the analysis of these African countries' infrastructural policies and practices, as reverse to the housing question, is an important tool as it also configures an amplification lens for the comprehension of certain urban realities in Portugal, having as common ground of discussion the guiding notion of the Right to the City (Lefebvre, 1968). Regarding the urban and landscape affairs, these infrastructural options concerning both macro-level approaches and ground-based interventions were influenced, conditioned and/or determined by the legacies of the Portuguese colonial regime and its (so-called soft) logics of domination and, moreover, by massive migration movements heading towards central cities, motivated by civil wars or the search for better living conditions. Demographic issues also became important factors for the accelerated growth of major cities in Portuguese-speaking African countries. Given this framework, the (inter)connections between different urban contexts are of interest for this track as they pave the path for the ample reading of its suburban realities, also reinforcing the importance of infrastructural issues, such as those related to the public administration, its processes and agents, but also considering its spatial dimensions, particularly road systems, water and energy supply, sewages and urban facilities. These are vital complements to access adequate housing and, in a broader and transformative sense, to help to (de)construct the meaning of the Right to the City.
Sílvia Viegas (Centre of Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (CCArq/CES-UC) and the Urban Socio-Territorial and Local Intervention Study Group (GESTUAL/FA-UL). She concluded a PhD thesis entitled 'Luanda, (un)Predictable City? Government and urban and housing transformation: Paradigms of intervention and resistances in the new millennium' (FA-UL, 2015). Currently Sílvia is an FCT scholarship holder and a postdoctoral researcher with the CES-UC and GESTUAL. Her research project, entitled INSE(h)RE 21, focuses on the socio-spatial inclusion of refugees in today's Europe with reference to the reception of the African diaspora in Portugal.
Sílvia Jorge (Urban Socio-Territorial and Local Intervention Study Group (GESTUAL) of the Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design of the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon (CIAUD/FA-UL). She concluded a PhD thesis entitled 'Prohibited Places: the Maputo’s pericentral self-produced neighbourhoods' (FA-UL, 2017). Currently Sílvia is a FCT scholarship holder and a researcher of GESTUAL-CIAUD/FA-UL, integrating the project 'Housing Suburbs: New urban paradigms', coordinated by Isabel Raposo. Her research focuses on the space of Lusotopia, namely on its urban margins.
10. The interrupted utopia. Landscapes of modern collective housing in Former European Colonies (Roberto Goycoolea, Inês Lima Rodrigues)
The construction of large complexes or housing units led to a profound transformation of the landscape of the Former European Colonial cities; in the Portuguese context, this transformation occurred especially in the sub-Saharan region, not only affecting the morphology of the urban landscape but also its management and function. But, above all, it meant a radical change in the way of understanding and designing the habitable space, defined by the authors themselves as the development of a utopian project. These works not only meant to address the urgent housing needs but also the set up of a new model of city and society. In Angola, the struggle for independence and, above all, the subsequent civil conflicts interrupted this impulse, either because the projects were left unfinished, or because they were developed in a social and political context of great instability. In practice, these housing complexes continued inhabited but with increasingly worse conditions due to the lack of maintenance and control. Thus, the new landscape of modernity became a sad metaphor for the historical evolution of the different countries. After the end of the conflicts, a series of key questions have been put on the table: - What motivated and how to materialize these utopias; can we really consider them as such, in the manner of Pepetela’s “The Generation of Utopia”? - Seen from a distance, how to value its most recognized project contributions: the tropicalization of modern models, the use of appropriate technologies for the climate and local economy, the recognition of pre-existing conditions...? - Did the type of promoter - public or private - influenced the type of project carried out and the way in which they were used and accepted? - What was the role played by its users (before and after the independence and their collective identity in this process? - What to do with these interrupted utopias today? Should we consider their landscape (real) and their (utopian) model of life as a heritage to be preserved or as a sign of the colonial stage to be eliminated, as in many cases it is happening? Although the session focuses on the former Portuguese colonial cities, as a case study and as an example, it intends to open up to other formerly colonized territories beyond the Lusophone countries. Generating knowledge and critical reflection about these issues is the main objective of the proposed session. Additionally, understanding that the disclosure of these works and their authors dignifies this heritage and allows us to expand the (re) knowledge about the interesting Portuguese modern housing and its utopian political, social and disciplinary motivations.
Roberto Goycoolea (Escuela de Arquitectura, Universidad de Alcalá). Dr Architect Professor of Analysis of Architectural Forms at Escuela de Arquitectura, Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid. He has publications about his projects and researches in books and magazines from 11 countries, focusing on the conception and perception of the habitable space. In Africa, he has participated in cooperation projects and academic exchange actions, highlighting the research on modern architecture in Luanda, Angola, co-directed with Professor Paz Núñez.
Inês Lima Rodrigues (DINAMIA'CET-IUL). Architect and researcher, PhD on Architectural Projects in the field of Portuguese influenced modern collective housing, with recognized merit as the "Premi Extraordinari Doctorat 2013-14". She has published articles in magazines and book chapters and participates in national and international conferences. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at DINÂMIA'CET-IUL, deepening Portuguese-Angolan modern architecture through the legacy of Simões de Carvalho, Castro Rodrigues and Vieira da Costa.
11. Globalized Regionalism: the inheritance of colonial infrastructure (Eliana Sousa Santos, Susanne Bauer)
Issues, such as cultural engagement, authenticity, morality and politics are still connected to today’s regional architecture. A globalized aesthetic today poses the question where regionalism in architecture ends and globalization starts. Throughout history, vernacular building styles, elements and aesthetics that can often be classified as regional, have emerged in different countries as cultural mementos of a rehabilitated region. Furthermore, in recent years, under the banner of social engagement in architecture, to detach oneself from the issues of colonialism, multiplicities of projects explore the advantages of local techniques and/or materials, blend them with ‘international’ aesthetics and import them into different cultural contexts. The aesthetic of a modern architecture today is thereby recreated using artisan and handmade products. In turn, modern elements of an ‘international’ aesthetic combined with local materiality are transferred in a mode of post-colonial development into exotic locations. The work of contemporary practices such as those of Solano Benítez, Bijoy Jain and Anna Heringer blend traditional low-tech building techniques with globally accepted aesthetics. With exponential globalization we witness the effect of a post-colonial infrastructure as a universal aesthetic is being created that can be exchanged throughout different countries and continents. This session aims to discuss issues connected to the aesthetics of architectural regionalism and its relationship to colonial infrastructures. We are interested to examine what historical developments have shaped regional architecture today and which might have overcome colonial infrastructures. Papers might also explore the question of regional or vernacular architecture and globalization and address the boundaries of regionalism.
Eliana Sousa Santos (Phd, University of London) is an architect, a researcher and an assistant professor of architecture. She was awarded the Fernando Távora Prize 2016/17. She was the curator of the exhibition The Shape of Plain (Gulbenkian Museum Lisbon 2016/17). She was a visiting postdoctoral research fellow at Yale University in 2013/14, and is currently a researcher at CES, University of Coimbra and invited assistant professor at ISCTE-IUL.
Susanne Bauer (Norwich University of the Arts) has a Diploma (2002) from the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg, a Master of Arts (2003) in Histories and Theories from the Architectural Association and a PhD from The London Consortium, University of London (2014). She was Visiting Scholar at Columbia GSAPP in New York in 2013, a Visiting Scholar at the CCA in Montréal (2016) and a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the Federal University of Uberlândia in Brazil (2015-16). She worked as an architect for Foster+Partners and for AHMM.
12. Materiality & Mobility in the construction of Colonial Landscapes (Alice Santiago Faria)
This panel aims to discuss the material dimension of colonial landscapes and reflect on the impacts of these elements, and histories of materiality, in post-colonial times. Considering that material things and people are intertwined and that the social impact of materiality matters, the panel proposes to address connected histories of materiality across time and space.
While acknowledging that materiality is a thematically broad concept, for the purpose of this session, materiality will essentially include construction materials (new or re-used), buildings and parts of buildings, technologies, among others; however, it will not include texts, images, or other objects of representation.
Of course, most circulation of materiality occur together and along with several other types of mobilities (Guggenheim and Söderström, 2010). Without intending to undervalue these connections/relations, this panel will give preference to proposals that analyse paths, flows and geographies of material things. Proposals are also welcome that analyse the influences on material connectivity (trajectories, prices, durability, technologies, the mobility of people or other constraints of daily life or of a particular event) and how they influence the establishment and transformations of material mobility. The opening of the Suez Canal or the rise of prices during times of conflict are practical examples of such events. Similarly, the impact and importance of non-geographical/local movements of materiality may also be addressed.
Alice Santiago Faria (CHAM, FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa) is currently a researcher at the CHAM, FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, where she coordinates the “Art and the Portuguese Overseas Expansion” research group. Graduated in Architecture at Coimbra University, she holds a PhD. in Art History at the Université de Paris I. She is member of “Pensando Goa” research project, Universidade de São Paulo (FAPESP 2014/15657-8). Her research focuses on colonial public works in the Portuguese Empire during the long 19th century.
13. The transnational live project: critical reflections on the ethics, politics and pedagogies of collaborations between the global north and global south (Jhono Bennett, James Benedict Brown, Peter Russell)
A live project ‘comprises the negotiation of a brief, timescale, budget and product between an educational organisation and an external collaborator for their mutual benefit … structured to ensure that students gain learning that is relevant.’ (Anderson & Priest, 2014) A transnational live project is one that involves an educational organisation in one country and a community in another. A number of recent contributions have enhanced our understanding of live projects. (Dodd et al, 2012; Harriss & Widder, 2014; Anderson & Priest, 2018) At best, live projects allow students to integrate their skills in a real world setting while building mutually beneficial partnerships with a commitment to a place. (Brennan et al, 1998) At worst, live projects can graft values and solutions onto communities rather than co-creating them. (Real, 2009) Stakeholders in transnational live projects in postcolonial contexts are invited to reflect critically on the ethical, political and pedagogical dimensions of their work. Contributors should articulate explicitly their pedagogical position, especially where critical, feminist, or alternative pedagogies have been used. What are the ethical, political and pedagogical issues at stake in transnational live projects? How are the power structures that operate in transnational live projects constructed, reproduced or subverted? How are successful transnational partnerships sustained? What characteristics do sustained transnational partnerships demonstrate?
Jhono Bennett (1to1 Agency of Engagement / University of Johannesburg) is a Partner in 1to1 Agency of Engagement and Unit Leader at the University of Johannesburg's Graduate School of Architecture.
James Benedict Brown (Independent Academic) is an independent academic with a research interest in architectural education. His PhD (Queen’s University Belfast, 2012) developed a pedagogical critique of the live project.
Peter Russell (University of Nottingham, England) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture & Built Environment at the University of Nottingham, England.
14. Colonial Spatiality in African Sahara Regions (Samia Henni)
This session investigates the ways with which European colonial regimes have shaped the design of African Saharan aboveground and underground territories, cities, villages, infrastructures, and societies over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. These Saharan regions comprise Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara. Colonized by different European countries—including Britain, Italy, France, and Spain—these climatically challenging territories served primarily to search, extract, and transport the desert’s multiple natural resources and assets. Yet, in what exactly consisted these designs? What were their impact on Saharan nomadic, sedentary societies and environments? And to what extend did these colonial territorial transformations affect the socio-economic future of the African countries in question? This session aims at addressing these questions and exploring the relationship between spatial planning, architecture, environment, and European colonial practices in African Saharan regions. We seek papers that critically analyze the involvement of European colonial civil servants, military officers, engineers, planners, and architects in shaping the design of one or more African Saharan regions. Of special interest are papers that disclose how particular projects or built environments had obeyed or disobeyed to Saharan or trans-Saharan colonial directives, and expose the multifaceted effects of such programs at national, transnational and international levels. We welcome papers that propose original methods for analyzing Saharan or trans-Saharan colonial spatiality in historical, political, economic, climatic and environmental terms.
Samia Henni (Princeton University) is the author of Architecture of Counterrevolution: The French Army in Northern Algeria (Zurich: gta Verlag, 2017) and the curator of Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French War in Algeria. She received her Ph.D. (with distinction, ETH Medal) in History and Theory of Architecture from the ETH Zurich. Currently, she teaches at Princeton University's School of Architecture.
15. Urban Legacies: linking enclaving and social identities (Anna Mazzolini, Morten Nielsen)
The “Middle Class Urbanism” project research team would organise this session on the basis of the urgent need of interdisciplinary approach on themes as post-colonial urban routes, colonial spatial influences on physical reordering and social and physical boundaries in the cities of the global South. The interdisciplinary session will focus is the radical transformations of the built environment of major cities of the Global South integrating perspectives from anthropology, architecture, urban studies and history. The team is already investigating these themes in the city of Maputo where, in colonial and postcolonial times, the design, planning and regularization of housing developments have been used by both the state and private developers as a means to organize the city following particular models as well as for the socialization of urbanites. The session would accept presentations focusing on key drivers for the reordering the built environment in sub-Saharan Africa and on the new forms of citizenship that emerge as an outcome of these drivers. In particular, the session would welcome presentations belonging to the line of research of urban anthropology, architecture and design, sociology and history. In particular, the session would aim at tracing the routes of planning systems that influenced the materialisation of social differentiation, enclaving, urban imaginaries and new city models since late colonialism, based on particular histories of structural adjustments and related global connections. Fundamental questions for the call could be: When does spatial organisation promoted by authorities inform collective social values and vice versa in post-colonial cities? How does social differentiation come to assert itself in particular material forms that we can observe in post-colonial urban environment today? What is the relationship between spatial aesthetics and ideological concepts of individual or collective identities and how they changed from the colonial time? In which situations and through which cultural and historical routes does certain city models become a desired form of urban development? Which role past and present infrastructure play in the creation of city and lifestyle imaginaries? The session will cover all these themes through with the aim of creating a shared and interlinked conceptual framework, at the end, in order to enrich the debate with insights beyond urbanism.
Anna Mazzolini (Aarhus University) is an architect and an Urban Planner. She holds a PhD in Planning and Public Policies and she worked several years in Mozambique in slum upgrading projects for NGOs and UN-HABITAT. She worked as consultant and housing policy expert elaborating the National Housing Strategy for Mozambique. In her work, she has always been trying to link research with practices on the field. She is currently Post-Doc Researcher at the Department of Anthropology of Aarhus University, Denmark.
Morten Nielsen (Aarhus University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Aarhus University. Based on his fieldwork in Mozambique, Scotland, and USA, he published on issues such as urban citizenship, time and temporality, comedy, human creativity, urban aesthetics, materiality, infrastructure, and political cosmologies. Recent publications include articles in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Social Analysis, and Social Anthropology.
16. The spatialization of population control in late colonialism: contexts, modalities, dynamics (Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo)
This panel aims to assess the diversity of settings in which distinct modalities of administering difference emerged in late colonial societies in Africa, namely in what relates to dynamics of spatialization of population control, in rural and urban milieus, in contexts of developmentalism and, in certain cases, also of open conflict between colonial administrations and local communities. From paysannats and strategic villages, associated to other architectures of security and counter-insurgency, to “native” neighborhoods, urban and rural, such as those associated with specific economic activities (e.g. mining or cotton companies), there were many manifestations of projects of social engineering and spatial organization targeting more effective discriminatory forms of population politics, all entailing particular infrastructures. We seek papers that deal with these projects of socio-spatial planning, contextualizing their emergence and purposes, addressing the actors and institutions involved, and assessing their actual materialization, their effects (social, spatial, economic) and their appropriation by local communities.
Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo (PhD King’s College London, History, 2008) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Studies-University of Coimbra, Portugal. He is also a Professor at the PhD Program Heritages of Portuguese Influence (III/CES), University of Coimbra (since 2012), of which he is scientific co-coordinator. He has been working on the historical intersections between internationalism(s) and imperialism, and on the late colonial entanglements between idioms and repertoires of development and of control and coercion in European colonial empires. He is the author of The “Civilizing Mission” of Portuguese Colonialism (c.1870-1930) (2015), and the co-editor of The ends of European colonial empires (2015). In 2017, he co-edited Internationalism, imperialism and the formation of the contemporary world. He is also co-editor of the book series “História&Sociedade” at Edições 70 (Portugal) and “The Portuguese Speaking World: Its History, Politics and Culture” at Sussex Academic (United Kingdom).