The Funambulist Nº10: Architecture & Colonialism

The 10th issue of The Funambulist, a magazine edited by Léopold Lambert to examine the politics of space and bodies, is out!

The theme of the issue is Architecture & Colonialism and it works in tandem with the previous issue, Islands, which critically documented indigenous and anticolonial struggles from various islands of the world. While the last issue was dedicated to the seminal work of Édouard Glissant, this one is influenced by the work of another Martiniquais: Frantz Fanon.

The two editorial arguments of this issue are simple: colonialism is not an era, it is a system of military/police, legal, administrative, social, and cultural system of domination; and, architecture is not (only) an aesthetic vessel, it is an apparatus organizing and hierarchizing bodies in space.

Content of The Funambulist Nº10: Architecture & Colonialism:

Kelsen Caldwell writes a guest column titled A Call to Disrupt White-Dominated Architectural and Public Policy Imaginaries; Mawena Yehouessi of Black(s) to the Future wrote one called Afrofuturist Politics: Less Power, More Commitment; while Jess Myers‘s column is titled Here There Be Dragons: Broadcasting Identity and Security in the Parisian Region.

The main essays are: Aurès, Algeria: Regroupement Camps During the Algerian War for Independence by Fabien Sacriste; Tripoli, Libya: Scale and (Im)Mobility in the Control of Colonial Territory, authored by Mia Fuller; Heliopolis: Politics of Space in Occupied Cairo, by Mahy Mourad; Amman, Jordan: The Case of Open Space, by Jawad Dukhgan; Dadaab, Kenya: Architecting the Border: The Hut and the Frontier at Work, by Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi; Esfahan, Iran: Architecture and the Making of a Gendered Working Class, by Samaneh Moafi. There is also a transcript of the podcast with Ann Laura Stoler about The Colonial Administration of Bodies and Space.

As for the photos below, they are by Bruno Fert and accompany Sophia Azeb‘s essay The “No State Solution”: Decolonizing Palestine beyond the West Bank and East Jerusalem:

Bruno Fert, Tel Aviv-Jaffa (Longitude: 32°5’16” N, latitude: 34°46’11” E. Abdel Nabi Jaffa cemetery.) From the series The Absentees

Bruno Fert, Al Bassa (Longitude: 33°04’34” N, latitude: 35°08’27” E. Date of depopulation: May, 14 1948.) From the series The Absentees

Bruno Fert, Haïfa (Longitude: 32°48’46” N, latitude: 35°00’8″ E. Date of depopulation: April 1948.) From the series The Absentees

In 1948, the creation of the State of Israel caused the exodus of approximately 700,000 Palestinians to neighboring countries. The refugees were never allowed to return to their homes which were confiscated under the Israeli “Absentee Property Law“. With the help of the mapping done by Zochrot (an Israeli non-profit organization that promotes awareness of the Palestinian Nakba), photographer Bruno Fert returned to the places of some of the roughly 500 villages which were depopulated and sometimes destroyed during the first Arab-Israeli war. The resulting photo series is called The Absentees.

Photo by Kelechi Anabaraonye

Photo by Kelechi Anabaraonye

There’s also a few pages dedicated to student projects related to architecture and colonialism. One of them is a photo project by Kelechi Anabaraonye whose camera captures the colonial infrastructures left to decay in Nigeria.

You can purchase the issue in digital or print+digital form. Or you could get a subscription and get access to the magazine’s full online archives. I don’t get free Funambulist copies, neither am i paid to write about it. I just happen to think this intelligent and meaningful publication has no equal.