Photograph by Leyland Cecco/Al Jazeera
Two days ago, about 650 runners participated to the Right to Movement Palestine Marathon. This race, open to both genders and both local and international participants, was taking place in Bethlehem (see the map of the race below), along what the city has the most precious in terms of building heritage (the Church of the Nativity) and what it unfortunately has of the most violent (the separation wall). The race was also crossing the two refugee camps of Al Ayda and Ad Dheisheh where many people have been living in poverty since 1949. It is important to recall here that this poverty is both created by the occupation that makes sure to maintain a very high rate of unemployment in the West Bank (it is even worse in Gaza) but also by the strong will of refugee to continuously affirm their situation as being temporary; their families should be able to go back to live in their villages and towns which are now on Israeli territory (see previous article).
The very name of the Marathon clearly expresses the extra-sportive motivations that animate the race. On its official website, we are reminded of what the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights precises in terms of right to movement:
Running is a means of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. The Right to movement, means that you have right to move from A to B. Even taking the decision on where you want to be when and why. It is also one of the most basic human rights; Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
Article 13 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights
Aleppo, January 29, 2013. (Reuters/Zain Karam)
As an introduction to this article, I would like to say that I have been hesitant to write the latter as many of the thirty eight photographs posted by The Atlantic on February 20th 2013 (thank you Guilhem) carry enough visual power to bring to them the noxious pictorial fetishism that Western society (at peace mostly) have contributed to develop and exacerbated. Seeing a fighter of the Free Syrian Army piloting an automated machine gun with a playstation controller triggers in us (probably the male part in all of us) a disturbing confusion between game and reality, heroism and survival. That is why an image of this importance should never be shown without a reflective framework to avoid its epidemic (online) reproduction leading inexorably to the domain of the “cool”, this ill-defined realms of things that give us the contentment of an aesthetics without its intellectual “burden”.
Another thing that needs to be said as a preamble is that journalism tends to be more interested in the domain of the spectacular in opposition to the familiar and therefore, we need to see most of this images for what they are: exceptions, accidents, unique manifestations of something larger. In other words, most Syrians, right now, whether they are fully part of the rebellion or simply subjected to the continuous bombing and persecutions of Bashar al-Assad’s government’s army, probably do not have access to weapons having a certain degree of sophistication, if not weapons at all. Reading these photographs in another way would mislead us and draw inaccurate conclusions on the future of warfare and immanent resistance.
Photograph by André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri (1871)
On May 16th 1871, at the core of the Paris Commune, a ceremony is organized to demolish the Vendôme Column, symbol of the Napoleonian imperialism (as usual for La Commune, refer to Raspouteam’s website for more information). Although an important amount of buildings were burnt down (for various reasons) during La Commune, the destruction of the Vendôme Column is the most expressive symbol of what I would like to call architecture in negative, or to use an oxymoron, destructive construction. On the contrary of what was affirmed by the Versaillais press and officials, this act was very far from being motivated by a thoughtless barbarian will of destruction. Indeed, the ensemble of buildings being representative -we might say symptomatic- of a given scheme of relationships of power, it is necessary for a new form of governance to subvert or demolish the same ensemble in order to avoid to reproduce the same relationships of domination of one group over another.
In their Basic Program of the Bureau of Unitary Urbanism (Programme Elementaire du Bureau d’Urbanisme Unitaire) in the Internationale Situationniste #6 (Paris, August 1961), the Situationists, through the writings of Attila Kotányi and Raoul Vaneigem, affirms the following:
All space is already occupied by the enemy, which has even reshaped its basic laws, its geometry, to its own purposes. Authentic urbanism will appear when the absence of this occupation is created in certain zones. What we call construction starts there. It can be clarified by the positive void concept developed by modern physics. Materializing freedom means beginning by appropriating a few patches of the surface of a domesticated planet.
This notion of positive void is precisely what the demolition of the Vendôme Column was about: the suppression of the power of a paradigmatic artifact to allow the construction of something new.
Beginning of the transcript…
It all started two weeks before the declaration of the Commune. Thousands of us invaded the incomplete structures of the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan. We took action when most of us were getting evicted from our homes after the rents doubled in the last few years. The occupation started as a form of protest, but quickly evolved towards a real alternative-society model. We set up camps on the hundreds of slabs of the towers and started to live in them in a new form of urban living. Multitudes of hoists were insuring the vertical communication of food, essential goods and reclaimed construction material from the ground.
The first time that the NYPD attempted to take back control of the site, we were disorganized and managed to make them retreat only after having outnumbered them. When they came back a few days later, our defensive strategy was more responsive, and the hundreds of policemen did not even succeed in entering the site. Every day we were gathering in small assemblies to debate and construct the particulars of our small society. Many people were exhausted and discussions could quickly become harsh and long, but only a limited number of people left the movement during the occupation.
One night, after a bit less than two months of common life in the towers, we were suddenly awakened by the loud noise of a flock of helicopters that quickly invaded our space with their powerful spotlights. While Special Forces were landing on the roofs, hundreds of police officers in full riot gear were climbing up the structures, arresting all the people they encountered. The surprise of the attack led to a general panic that reached a dangerous level on some overcrowded floors. It was only after few hours of systematized and serial arrests, when the towers were almost emptied, that the event that would make history occurred. Even today, it remains unclear what really happened. A small number of us were still on the ground, ready to be brought away in the MTA buses requisitioned by the NYPD, when we heard a terrifying scream and made out in the darkness of the dawn the fall of a frail body from one of the highest floors of the main tower. Whether it was a suicide, an accident, or a murder was irrelevant to us. What we knew is that this tragic event would have never occurred without the police’s armed attack. Our rage was growing on the way to Rikers Island, where the thousand of us who had gotten arrested were eventually corralled in the central courtyard.
First of all, I would like to apologize for this extended absence; I was traveling with a somehow relieving impossibility to access a computer. In the meantime, three friends have sent me their guest essays and I will be happy to publish them this week.
Today’s guest is Zayd Sifri who wrote a text about the current state of activism in the Palestinian struggle abroad, and more specifically in the United States. This essay is interesting in the context of the other writings that has been published on the funambulist on this topic as, rather than participating to the denunciation, it analyzes the latter within the frame of a global strategy and its historical equivalents (in South Africa for example).
Movement and solidarity
by Zayd Sifri
Momentous changes in the organization of society only occur so often. From memorable instances of thorough upheaval, social movements reap the fruit of the past and cultivate their own traditions. In the recent past the comparison between Israel-Palestine and Apartheid South Africa has become a convenient gambit for many solidarity activists in the United States and elsewhere. There are countless reasons for the popularity of this specific example and of course it is not the only material activists rely upon. The South African struggle however has been underscored as a successful model for international solidarity with the ongoing anti-colonial battle in the Eastern Mediterranean. For evidence of this, we can look at how the term Apartheid has almost seamlessly permeated the progressive vocabulary for describing Israeli regime’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Looking at Israel-Palestine solidarity through a South African prism, offers insight into the actors, values, and politics involved of movement building on an international playing ground. Fundamental to an effective conceptualization of a global solidarity model is formulating the inevitably complex relationship between local—Palestinian and Arab actors—and activists based primarily in the United States.
The Center for Urban Pedagogy, aka CUP, is a non-profit organization that attempt to make the legislation visible in the clearest manner. The predicate of the law is that nobody shall ignores it, but in reality, little is done to veritably make the law known to all. The risk involved in a society that maintains actively or passively the ignorance of its law, is that a legal aristocracy develops itself. Knowing your rights allows a practice in the totality of their extents. It also participate to a thorough and voluntary defense in a potential bone of contention. The Center for Urban Pedagogy, through an articulated graphic design strategy, has produced various booklets and posters in this spirit. All of them can be bought, but also downloadable as PDF on their website. The Vendor Power, for example, informs New York street vendors of their rights and a useful behavior to follow in case of trouble with a zealous police officer. I Got Arrested is addressed to American kids who were arrested by the police (often for very minor offense) so that they could know their rights and apprehend the whole experience in a less traumatic way. Know Your Lines investigates the voting zones in the United States to develop an awareness of the various policies which modify the lines of those zones for electoral motivations. What is Affordable Housing? is a small book which establishes an inventory of government helped forms of housing in the United States, and in New York more specifically, as well as the criteria that are required to apply for such a housing. This document does not miss to notice that many of those programs have been lacking of public development and interest (especially Public Housing whose construction was stopped after the 1974 moratorium ordered by Richard Nixon). Many more of those manuals exist and can be found on the CUP’s website. A lot of other similar initiatives probably exist for other cities and other countries and can be considered as models for such a strategy of legal sensitization and empowerment.
All the following illustrations have been created by the Center for Urban Pedagogy:
Time Square on October 17th 2011 /// Photograph by Léopold Lambert
In March 2012, I wrote a text for my friend Lucas Issey Yoshinaga who was contributing to the Brazilian book Approach edited by Gustavo Utrabo, Juliano Monteiro, Pedro Duschenes & Hugo Loss. The other contributors ended up to be Graham Harman, Nannette Jackowski . Ricardo de Ostos & Bernardo Bento for a collection of five texts about our perception of the architectural discipline. I entitled mine Impetus, as a reflection on the current return of politics within the architectural discourse and education. This wondering/wandering was then based on the question on whether or not this new interest for politics was simply based on a opportunist trend or could potentially be crystallized and then engaged as a non-avoidable dimension of the architectural practice.
I recommend the reading of this very well made little bilingual (Portuguese & English) book that cultivates architecture’s sense of doubt about its role and action. The title, Approach, is a good indicator of its editors’ consideration for those texts which tries to avoid a peremptory tone to prefer a more dubious one. If you would like a copy you can write to mail(AT)alephzero.arq.br
by Léopold Lambert
It has been a very long time that I did not write about the movement Take Back the Land (see previous article) which allows to ask very interesting questions about civil disobedience and fundamental rights. This movement, often represented by Max Rameau, constitutes, to my knowledge, the most illustrative and efficient illegal practice of architecture. In fact, the movement reclaims city’s space that suffered from speculative operations (vacant parcels, foreclosed homes) in order to accommodate those who, precisely, were the human victims of these same operations. The resistive actions orchestrated by Take Back the Land, beyond the simple civil disobedience, are implemented within the broader framework of a dialogue with the local community (neighbors and other people helped by these actions). Such a dialogue, not only organizes a better control of a group of people on the space it lives in, but it also sustain the illegal operations in time as it creates processes of defensiveness within a whole neighborhood putting pressure on the municipal authorities and the police.
The movement’s objectives are interesting to look at as they introduces very clearly what those resistive operations are trying to achieve:
- Fundamentally transform land relationships;
- Elevate housing to the level of a human right;
- Community control over land and housing;
- Empower impacted communities, particularly low income communities of color.
Once again, I would like to apologize for a long absence of new posts on this blog, I am hoping to find back a daily rhythm very soon.
The third issue of the journal Makeshift is entitled Resistance and explores how “creative oppositions” are occurring in the various political struggles that are currently on going in the world. From Egypt to Haiti and from Mexico to Libya, this issue describes through short texts (sometimes too short) various resistive operations often registering themselves against the politico-economical and legal power in place. Often, when we need to address examples of political resistance, we uses one that can gain a large consensus, i.e. non violent ones or ancient ones. In this issue however, Makeshift also explored a garage of Misrata (Libya) in which agricultural mechanics changed their job during the civil war against Muammar Gaddafi’s administration, army and militias, and set up heavy weaponry on trucks for the rebels. Violence is usually something we having trouble to look at in the Western world while in other places, it becomes the inevitable mean to resist. In this regard, the sabotages operations organized by the ANC (African National Congress) in South Africa during the Apartheid is helpful to look at – for French speakers, see the current remarkable series of broadcasts on France Culture about Nelson Mandela. Non-violence is not necessarily motivated by an intrinsic aversion for violence but often considered as the appropriate weapon to fight a given establishment.
To go back to the entire issue of Makeshift, what is remarkable is that the latter focuses exclusively on the production and/or the creation involved in a process of resistance. Bracelets are made from bomb metal in Laos, antennas and routers are set-up on New York rooftops to put occupiers in communication, objects are being rethought, refabricated and used for different functions than their prior ones in Cuba etc. processes of resistance and processes of creation are presented as interchangeable. In both cases, it involves imagination, of course, but also work and effort of bodies dedicated to an individual or collective ethics.
Visualizing Palestine is an open collective which attempts to demonstrate graphically the injustice to which the Palestinians are subjected to in the current apartheid -or colonization depending on whether you consider the territory Palestine/Israel as one sovereignty or two. After an historical document on the hunger strike to support Khader Adnan who was doing one to protest against his detention in an Israeli prison without having been charged with anything, they just released a map of Israel/Palestine (see above) illustrating the segregative characteristics of the road system on this territory. The West Bank and East Jerusalem are indeed full of highways that are forbidden to Palestinian cars as they link the Israeli territory to the numerous illegal civil settlements in the occupied territories (see my previous article about the Route 443). In addition to that, the map shows how the totality of roads accessible to Palestinians to link their main cities together are highly restricted as they are punctuated regularly by more or less heavy duty checkpoints which can ultimately cut any form of physical communication between the various towns of the West Bank.
all images are screenshots from Romain Gravas’ fim: Jay Z & Kanye West “No church in the wild” (2012)
The new videoclip of Jay Z and Kanye West, No Church in the Wild, directed by Romain Gavras is problematic to many extents. During 5 very aesthetic minutes of film, a slowmotion of a scene involving a violent fight between an angry mob (composed strictly of men) and a less angry -yet much more methodical in its violence- group of suppressive geared policemen. The scene is recognizably occurring in Prague and Paris, thus offering us a modern version of the various European revolutions and insurrections of the 19th century. The ‘aesthetization’ of violence is optimal in order to directly to address our testosterone which then helps us to identify to this hyper-male insurrectional standard which correspond in nothing to the various 2011 Arab revolutions or civic movements in various countries in the world. The society of spectacle is not interested in long pacific democratic construction and, through its various media (including the most serious and so called ‘liberal’ of them like the perfidious New York Times), prefers to capitalize on the violent side of the revolt imaginary in order to both discredit and co-opt a movement that was originally anti-capitalist. In this regard, it is not innocent that the rioters, in this video, do not seem to seek anything else than a simple fight with the police force (almost like a sport). It is Capitalism’s great strength to be able to include within itself its own antagonism, and furthermore to be able to capitalize on the latter. Jay Z and Kanye West are the perfect example of such phenomena as they represent the nec plus ultra of the anti-pro system components of a hip-hop music that was originally invented as a pure form of resistance against this very same system.
However, this short film is still interesting to look at, as it might touch a line of risk that capitalism is taking against itself. Capitalist’s cinema has been aesthetizing violence for quite a long time now; nevertheless when doing so, it is always careful to subject this violence against a tangible and specific form of otherness, whether the latter is embodied by aliens, enemy armies, gangsters, cops (but always corrupted and individualized in one way or another) or any other instance characterized by its binary mode of existence -it is either alive or dead, victorious or defeated. What a film like No Church in the Wild participates to, is the construction of an imaginary in which an intangible yet ubiquitous system is being fought against. Of course, the society of spectacle is still strongly present and the policemen are contributing to the anthropomorphism of an antagonism; nevertheless, it is clear that something outside of this visible fight is engaged and is therefore developed in our imaginary.
The following text was curated by Mexican magazine Arquine and is therefore available in a Spanish version on its website.
The exhibition Archizines is currently visible at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City and touring in ten cities of Europe and North America. This display of eighty architectural journals (including the funambulist’s friends from Studio Magazine and Beyond!) is a good opportunity for us to question this medium of communication of ideas. Fifty years from now, Archigram and its ten zines publications participated to a revolution of architecture from the modernist patronizing austerity to a bold and imaginative movement for a city liberated from its bourgeoisie. Nowadays, the democratic aspect of these journals lies more in their facilitated production than in their radical contents. This mean of publication has indeed evolved with the relatively recent creation of many self-publishing services and the potential communication about the printed issues via the internet. The price reflects such means of production and contrast with more established architectural magazines with a larger run. Nevertheless, the goal of a more democratic access to knowledge has still to be pursued.
May Day 2012 at Wall Street / Photograph by the author
Small Flowers Crack Concrete
by Sonic Youth NYC Ghosts & Flowers (2000)
Small flowers crack concrete
Narcotic squads sweep thru poet dens
Spilling coffe grabbing 15 yr old runaway girls
By frazzled ponytailed hair and tossing them
Into backseats of cop cars
The narcs beat the bearded oracles
Replacing tantric love with
Construction Workers strike in Las Vegas (2008) / photo: Trent Ogle
In his new book, Rebel Cities, David Harvey (see previous post here and here) observes that the new forms of proletariat exploitation in the the Western World changed from the factory paradigm to the one of the city. The Marxist filter of reading, that he knows very well for having teaching it for a couple of decades , is still very much appropriate to interpret the creation of surplus value through urbanization:
But there is a seamless connection between those who mine the iron ore that goes into the steel that goes into the construction of the bridges across which the trucks carrying commodities travel to their final destinations of factories and homes for consumption. All of these activities (including spatial movement) are productive of value and of surplus value. If capitalism often recovers from crises, as we saw earlier by “building houses and filling them with things,” then clearly everyone engaged in that urbanizing activity has a central role to play in the macroeconomic dynamics of capital accumulation.
Harvey David. Rebel Cities. New York: Verso, 2012. P130-131
Of course, D.Harvey invokes the recent examples of insurgencies and manifestation for what Henri Lefebvre was calling the right to the city; nevertheless he also bases his argument on historical example such as the 19th century Paris. The latter is indeed very illustrative as it was both subjected to an imperial transformation and several revolutions including the one that continues to fascinate me always more and more: the 1871 Paris Commune. D.Harvey’s reading is interesting in these two matters as his historical interpretation is slightly different from the one we usually give as architects. He address Haussmann’s transformation of Paris, not so much for its physicality but rather for its economy i.e. the implementation of a pure capitalist urbanism. As for the Commune he beautifully attribute this event to the reclaim of the city (what I would call the ‘urbs’ as both a physical environment and an assemblage of social interactions) by those who produced it. It is true that one of the fastest and most important decision of the Commune concerned the city itself as it consisted in canceling the rents:
Excerpt from Safe Area Goražde by Joe Sacco (2000)
During the Bosnian war (1992-1995), the small city of Goražde was surrounded by territories under the Serbian army’s control and had to organize its daily life in a self-sufficiency that was supplemented by a UN enforced humanitarian corridor. This self-sufficiency includes the power supply that was lacking at a systematic level. Goražde inhabitants had therefore to cope with this status off the grid and individuals and neighbor groups undertook to tinker various machines amongst which those micro hydro power plants strike us for their ingenuity. Both the drawings of Joe Sacco in his documentary graphic novel Safe Area Goražde (see also The Fixer in a previous article), and the photographs taken by Zobrazit during the war constitute rare witnesses of their historical presence on the Drina River.
The collective #3awda (عودة) is developing activist strategies to develop an imaginary of systematic return of the Palestinian refugees on their pre-1948 land. The conversation, here, is not targeted at the existence of the state of Israel which, on the contrary of what the Israeli/American propaganda affirms, is considered by a majority of Palestinians as a given. What is being advocated for, is the possibility for millions of Palestinians to live on their ancestors’ land and to benefit of the same rights than Israeli citizens.
Every year on May 15th, for the anniversary of the Nakba (the 1948 ‘Catastrophe’), hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt gathers at the Israeli border to demonstrate their status of international refugees, who have now been waiting for decades to return on the land they have been evicted from. Palestinian refugees, like any refugees recognized by the United Nations, are subjected to the International Law and therefore owns a special status that place them in an uncomfortable and sometimes ostracized position in the various countries they are living in. These May 15th demonstrations are therefore difficult to a lot of levels. Demonstrators usually come from far, have to face the local police/army and often the real bullets of the Israeli army who systematically assassinate whoever attempts to overpass the border. The Ila Falstin Sabila Group therefore designed a small manual in Arabic to hand out to people in march to the border. It explains in very simple terms and means how they can protect themselves against the various antagonistic forces they will meet that day. The original version in Arabic is visible on #3awda’s website but the document presented here has been kindly translated in English by my friend Mina Rafiee.
Arthur Rimbaud by Ernest Pignon-Ernest
This Wednesday (7pm) in New York, will be held a conversation with Ana Méndez de Andés for Sixteen Beaver (thank you Greg). This event, entitled beautifully Swarms, Multitude, and Activism in a Time of Monsters, connected in my mind with the book that I just re-read, The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (see previous article) by Kristin Ross. In this book, K. Ross interprets the poems that Arthur Rimbaud wrote during the Paris Commune in 1871 in relation to his extended work as well as its description of space. In a chapter entitled Swarms that Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt referred to in their book Multitude, she introduces (probably inspired by Elias Canetti) three poems by Rimbaud that describes what can be called the collective revolutionary body and its multitude of microsensations.
The use of the word ‘Monsters’ is perfectly appropriate to the comparison of this event with Rimbaud’s poetry. The monsters are not to be assigned to the oppressors here, but rather to us, the multitude, as seen by them. That is how Rimbaud evokes the irreversibility of the crowd, seen not by its body’s particles but by the dominant power which uses the terminology of abjection to describe it. “That Sire, is the Scum. It drools round the walls, it rises, it seethes…” The following text is an excerpt of K.Ross’s book:
Electronic Counter-Measures (2011) by Liam Young
Many of us are afraid of the development of drone technology in the army which regularly allows the US and Israeli Army to assassinate people without having to deploy a single man on a foreign territory. It is now well known that during the last ten years, the limits between Western police services and armies have increasingly became blurry both in the methods and in the equipment, the former requiring often the help or teaching of the latter. In this regard, I highly recommend the excellent coverage of Occupy Wall Street by Democracy Now on November 17th 2011. Amy Goodman indeed invited both the always excellent Stephen Graham and the former Seattle Police Chief, Norm Stamper to discuss about what she called Paramilitary policing.
It is relatively clear that it is simply a matter of time before national security drones would be implemented in Western cities (see the short pseudo-documentary I wrote last summer). On July 14th 2006, a drone (probably a prototype) was seen in the sky of Paris’ suburbs (see previous post) as what was probably a first real scale test of surveillance.
However, resistance against this quasi-irreversible movement towards a robotic management of national security seems to organize using the very same technology. In December 2010, some Iraqi insurgents managed to hack the video transmission of an American Drone (see previous post). On a more fictitious level, in 2009, Tim Maly was writing The Lost Drone Army which dramatizes the complete autonomy of a group of drones that escaped from the control of their former masters.
More recently, and on a not so fictitious level, Liam Young created now forms of drones, entitled Electronic Counter-Measures, within the context of his Tomorrow Thoughts Today (with Darryl Chen) and Unknown Fields Division (with Kate Davies) and in collaboration with Eleanor Saitta, Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu (see his GravityOne project and his guest writer essay on this blog), and Superflux. Their drones, inspired by the internet national blackout organized by Hosni Mubarak in January 2011 in order to prevent the Egyptian revolution to organize itself, provides a wireless internet signal to whoever is in their radius of action. The idea is to be able for a crowd to coordinate its action via the internet provided by these autonomous drones even though the dominant power would have shut the network down.
After the re-opening of Liberty Square following our numerous requests to the New York Department of Buildings (see previous article), whownspace started a new action to reclaim a public space that has been closed since September when it became known that the first occupation would precisely happen on this space: One Chase Manhattan Plaza. Since 2009, this space has been declared as a landmark and therefore requires a prior notice before any work that would alter its exterior aspect.
As written by Paula Segal for whownspace (click to read the full article):
Under New York City law, before doing work on landmark properties that will affect their exteriors, building owners or tenants need to apply for a permit from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Violations of the Landmarks Law occur either when work is done on a Landmark without a permit or when work does not comply with a permit. The fences around Chase Manhattan plaza clearly affect the exterior of the building, yet no one has applied for a permit for their erection (the only permit for exterior work filed in the last two years — scaffolding for the sculptures — is here).
Moderated by Caroline Filice Smith
Title of the Event/Island: Violence, Segregation, and Solidarity
Location of the Event/Island: 97 Kenmare St New York
Date of the Event/Island: Wednesday the 21st of December; 3-5 pm
Although statements of solidarity and non-violence can be heard at most General Assemblies and Occupations across the country; the urban and architectural typologies found within the Occupy LA camp defaulted into normalized zones of exclusion and segregation [ie:the gated community].
This ideological break between statements of inclusion, and the physical reality of segregation, implemented by arguably the most ‘radical’ of the camps inhabitants, begs the following question:
Why, when it came to urbanism, and architecture, did even the most ‘radical’ revolutionaries immediately default into the typologies most directly connected to/embedded in the system they are trying to overcome.
I [Caroline Filice Smith] will do a short presentation on the typologies of urbanism and architecture found within the occupy LA camp, how this physicality stood in opposition to the movements larger ideology of being ‘horizontal, democratic, transparent, and participatory’, and how this disjunction continues to affect the community structure at Occupy LA. Then we will discuss and speculate on what other alternatives could have been, and what the physical possibilities of an open, participatory and democratic architecture/community are given a climate of increasing militarization from outside forces [ie: the architecture of anarchism within a police state]