Fr 20 Nov 09
Open City Expert Meeting – Diwan conference
Diwan conference held in connection with the sub-exhibit Refuge of the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR).
Refuge – Architectural Propositions for Unbound Spaces - Cairo, Amman, Istanbul, Beirut
"Refuge" explores the causes and spatial impact of migration through voluntary or involuntary "refugees" who are transforming cities around the globe. Individuals or groups are elegantly or forcefully encapsulated from within the context of the city and society. Refuge produces an ever more atomized urban tissue where the "camp" has become both spatial paradigm and everyday reality, be it in the form of a gated community, slum, or humanitarian refugee camp.
The conference as part of the International Architecture Biennial of Rotterdam will explore the concept of “Refuge,” describing the increasingly polarised and fragmented urban tissue, which characterises cities in Turkey and the Middle East: looking at both on involuntary responses and needs on the one hand, and on voluntary seclusion, withdrawal, and barricadization on the other. The conference aims to provoke a critical discourse on the current trends which are radically transforming cities in the region.
The conference is related to an exhibition and a publication project, which launched an inquiry into the way the physical and socioeconomic texture of the contemporary cities in the Turkey/ Middle East region is conditioned and transformed by the principle of “refuge.” A network was set up amongst academics of architecture and urbanism from Universities in the region, responsible for gathering existing data and complementing it with new field work, to reach to mappings of each city with a particular devoted focus theme. These five themes have been defined - one for each city - each representing a specific aspect of a general trend towards “refuge urbanism” ranging from gated living (Istanbul), controlled mobility/access (Dubai), obsessive security (Beirut), new forms of urban governance (Amman) as well as a complex forms of resistance and subversion through practices of everyday life (Cairo). Each city/theme becomes the focus of a journal issue –the Diwan publication- bringing together the research taken on in each city with maps, case studies, as well as guest columnists from varying fields ranging from political scientists to novelists, who work and write on the particular cities and their urban conditions.
Through combining reflections, thoughts, ideas and utopias the Diwan publications hope to act as a trigger and nucleus for a multitude of regional projects - generating links, networks and collaborations in a region that is geographically united with common histories and traditions, that is dealing with very similar challenges, yet still remains often divided and fragmented.
Diwan publications launched in Rotterdam will include:
• Istanbul - Living in Voluntary and Involuntary Exclusion (edited by Eda Ünlü-Yücesoy and Tansel Korkmaz with Yaşar Adanalı, Can Altay and Philipp Misselwitz)
• Beirut - Mapping Security (edited by Mona Fawaz, Mona Harb, Ahmad Gharbieh)
• Amman - Neoliberal Urban Management (edited by Rami Farouk Daher)
• Cairo – Resilience: City as Personal Practice (Dina Shehyeb and Shahira Issa)
Diwan has been made possible through the generous support of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.
Download the conference program and an overview of related programs at the 4th IABR this week (pdf)
Reservation and information: +31 (0) 10 440 1342 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hood, NAI
€ 10 / 7 / PP