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2.5 Million Refugees in Turkey: A Few Architectural and Linguistic Considerations

This conversation addresses an important aspect of Merve Bedir’s work (along with Jason Hilgefort at Land+Civilization Compositions) regarding the architectural and linguistic dimension of Turkish politics regarding the 2.5 million refugees the country currently “hosts” — the very notions of “host” and “guest” are the first things discussed here. Through the description of several sites of either appropriation or dispossession/detention by and of refugee bodies in Istanbul and in other regions of Turkey, we try to think of the architect’s political role and responsibility, remembering however that we must always doubt of our own actions when they have such drastic consequences. Merve ...

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Introduction to Prison Abolitionism

This conversation was exceptionally recorded online so to be featured in the fourth issue of The Funambulist Magazine, Carceral Environments (Mar-Apr 2016), but was somehow reenacted at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal on March 6, 2016. Through it, Nasrin Himada gives us an introduction to prison abolitionism, not as a ready-made system that can replace the current carceral industrial complex but, rather, as a daily practice that starts with notions of the notions of individual, community, and accountability. Nasrin Himada is a writer, editor, and curator residing in Montréal. Her interdisciplinary research interests focus on the history of Palestinian cinema, art and ...

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Two Conversations from the Walls of Fortress Schengen

This short conversation with Marjetka P. has the particularity to be recorded in the ‘thickness’ of the border between Slovenia and Croatia, where a new fence materializes and drastically filters the access to the Schengen space — Croatia is a member of the E.U. but not yet of Schengen. In this discussion in situ, we address the current situation both locally (i.e. in Slovenia) and more broadly, at the scale of what is legitimate to call “Fortress Schengen.” This conversation is followed by an even shorter one, recorded with Matija Kralj, who has been documenting the spatiality and activity of the Dobova refugee ...

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The Refugee Camp: An Extraterritorial Space of Exclusion

In this discussion, Sinthujan Varatharajah presents both his work as an organizer with the organization Flüchtlinge Willkommen (Refugees Welcome) in Berlin, as well as his research as a doctoral student about refugee camps in Germany. Beyond the description of the camps’ architecture, we discuss how the logic of humanitarianism in relation to the demagogic politics of European governments forms legally, spatially, and narratively these extraterritorial spaces of exclusion. Sinthujan Varatharajah is a doctoral student in Political Geography at University College London. His analysis the spatial politics of asylum and refugee resistance to encampment in Germany. He holds a MSc. from the ...

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Solidarity and Policing of Migrants and Refugees in Northern Paris

This conversation recorded under the tracks of the metro in Northern Paris, where a few hundreds of migrant and refugee persons have been living in the past few months, despite several “evacuations” by the French police. I talk with Timothy Perkins who is part of the movement Chapelle Debout (unrelated to Nuit Debout) organized in solidarity to the residents of this fragile encampment (formerly situated near “La Chapelle” metro station, now near the “Stalingrad” one). He explains to us the different moments of solidarity and heavy policing that are engaged in this particular site of the French capital. Timothy Perkins studied ...

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The Design of French Structural Racism: Design & Racism Episode 1/4

This conversation with Nacira Guénif-Souilamas was recorded at the University of Paris VIII (Saint-Denis) for The Funambulist Magazine 05 (May-June 2016): Design & Racism. It opens a series of conversations on Archipelago about this important topic. Nacira is an anthropologist and sociologist, author and editor of four books examining structural racism in France. Such a specific system of legal targeting, administrative discrimination, urbanistic discrimination, stigmatizing imaginaries, etc. is the topic of this conversation. Nacira Guénif-Souilamas is an anthropologist and sociologist, author and editor of four books examining structural racism in France:  Des « beurettes » aux descendantes d’immigrants nord-africains (Grasset, 2000), Des beurettes (Hachette Pluriel, 2003), Les féministes ...

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Can the Master’s Tools Dismantle the Master’s House?: Design & Racism Episode 2/4

This second conversation of the series complementing the latest issue of The Funambulist Magazine dedicated to Design & Racism borrows its title from Audre Lorde’s words cited by Mabel O. Wilson at the beginning of the “Critical Dialogues on Race and Modern Architecture” that she organized at Columbia University in February 2016. Throughout this discussion, we talk about architecture’s historical and contemporary contribution to the American structural racism against Black bodies. Professor Mabel O. Wilson teaches architectural design and history/theory courses at Columbia University’s GSAPP. She is also appointed as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) ...

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History of African American Uprisings from Watts to Ferguson: Design & Racism Episode 3/4

As the series “Design & Racism” continues, it would be an omissive mistake not to address some of the numerous historical movements undertook against structural racism. This is why, in this conversation, Donna Murch gives us an historical outline of the African American uprisings from Watts in Los Angeles in 1965 to Ferguson, MO in 2014 after the murder of Michael Brown by a police officer. We also discuss about the progressive militarization of the police accomplished in the historical context of the so-called “war on drugs” that had drastic consequences on the violent suppression of the Black Lives Matter ...

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The Inherent Violence of Policing: Design & Racism Episode 4/4

This conversation with Christina Heatherton and Jordan T. Camp evolves around the content of the recently published book that they edited, Policing the Planet (see below). By evoking the numerous interviews and articles of/by intellectuals and activists, we address the inherent violence of policing, as well as its specific politics in the United States through the “broken windows” doctrine and the character of William Bratton for instance. We also discuss about the various forms of resistance organized against the structural racism that the police enforces, including the abolition of the police altogether. Christina Heatherton is an American studies scholar and historian of antiracist social movements. Her ...

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Producing a Podcast About the City, Safety, and Identities

This conversation with Jessica Myers occurred in the context of her recording of a second season of the podcast “Here There Be Dragons” about the way city residents experience neighborhoods in various way. While the first season was dedicated to New York (in particular regarding gentrification), the second one will be about Paris and the notion of safety and identities. After Jessica interviewed me (absent here, but fragments will be part of this second season), she returned the favor and talked to me about this project and a few of the responses that she had collected through the 31 other ...

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The History of Okinawa's Struggle Against Imperialism

This conversation with Wendy Matsumura is released along a short report about current movements of protest against the US army’s ubiquitous presence in Okinawa, published in The Funambulist blog. Wendy takes us through the chronology of domination that Ryukyuans (cf. lexicon in the report), then Okinawans had to experience since the 17th century and the various forms of resistance that were opposed to it. From the Satsuma Clan’s claim on the Ryukyu Kingdom, to the Japanese annexation of it, to the US army’s occupation, and finally the current situation of a US imperialism negotiated with the successive Japanese governments and their varying ...

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New Models Podcast 02: Incels / Modeling / Agency

More significant than how spree-shooting incels kill… is how they desire. For the second New Models podcast, @LilInternet, Caroline Busta, Daniel Keller, and Masha Tian discuss the ‘supreme gentleman’ as a systemic phenomenon — one wherein society’s not-uncommon transactional model of “acquiring” women is taken to metric-obsessed and violent extremes.

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