Weaponized Infrastructure: Introduction



Welcome to the seventeenth issue of The Funambulist. Borrowing a part of its title from a book I wrote seven years ago (Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Innocence), Weaponized Infrastructure intends to examine the ways through which infrastructure is always (deliberately or not) serving political projects at a territorial scale. Settler colonialism, described in several geographical contexts throughout this issue, certainly constitutes such a project, and infrastructure usually acts as the first materialization of its violence on indigenous territory, before architecture itself. French General and colonial administrator Hubert Lyautey (1854-1934), often seen as a key strategist of French colonialism in Vietnam, Madagascar, and Morocco, is reported to have said “a construction project is worth a battalion” (1928). The articles written by Deborah Cowen (whose work strongly influenced the editorial line of this issue), Solveig Suess, Begüm Adalet and Zannah Mae Matson will make that clear in the respective contexts of Turtle Island, Central Asia, Kurdistan, and Colombia.