Peabody award for Saydnaya

The project ‘Saydnaya: Inside a Syrian Torture Prison’, a collaboration between Forensic Architecture and Amnesty International, has been awarded a Peabody-Facebook ‘Futures of Media’ award in New York. We are extremely grateful for this recognition of our work, which we hope can continue to raise awareness of the terrible human rights abuses that continue to occur in Saydnaya and other places like it. We dedicate the award to the survivors of Saydnaya who came forth, with generosity and bravery, to make this project what itRead more

Should Berlin’s African quarter be renamed?

Feature article for The Guardian on Germany’s brutal colonial history and the issues of memory and memorials in the city of Berlin. FULL ARTICLE IN ENGLISH: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/apr/04/germanys-other-brutal-history-should-berlins-african-quarter-be-renamed VERSAO EM PORTUGUES NO BUALA: http://www.buala.org/pt/cidade/a-outra-historia-brutal-da-alemanha-deve-o-quarteirao-africano-de-berlim-ser-renomeadoRead more

The Portuguese denied citizenship in their own country

Feature article on institutionalised racism, urbanism and nationality law in Portugal, focusing on Portugal’s Afro-descendent communities. Read the full article here:        http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/03/portuguese-denied-citizenship-country-170302084810644.html   (photo courtesy of Antonio Brito Guterres) (photo courtesy of Antonio Brito Guterres)  Read more

Fidel Castro’s African legacy: Friendship and freedom

Analysis Article commissioned for Al Jazeera English – original published here  Fidel Castro’s African legacy: Friendship and freedom Analysis: Cuba’s decades-long involvement in Africa has left a disputed and complicated legacy. Fidel Castro was the enduring face and voice of a Cuban internationalism forged at the height of the Cold War and still widely misunderstood by the global North. In 1969, during a meeting with the Chilean foreign minister Gabriel Valdes, Henry Kissinger – who would later become the US secretary ofRead more

Luanda, Isle of Pleasures: An exhibition for the Oslo architecture triennale

Responding to the theme ‘on residence’ Isle of Pleasures was an installation in collaboration with Portuguese architect Paulo Moreira and Icelandic academic Petur Walforf, and part of the exhibition After Belonging for the The Oslo Architecture Triennale.     Angola’s booming economy has made Luanda a major destination for international migrants, the majority of whom are ‘returning’ from the former colonial power, Portugal. Most end up living in luxurious condominiums, detached from the vibrant city surrounding their homes and workplaces. The Ilha de LuandaRead more

Saydnaya: Reconstructing a Syrian torture prison from memory

Award-winning Interactive Documentary Project with Forensic Architecture, for Amnesty International     Since 2011 thousands have died in Syria’s prisons and detention facilities. With anyone perceived to be opposed to the Syrian government at risk, tens of thousands of people have been tortured and ill-treated, in violation of international law. In April 2016, Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture travelled to Istanbul to meet five survivors from Saydnaya Prison, near Damascus. In recent years, no journalists or monitoring groups which reportRead more

Campus in Camps: Architecture, Exile and Resistance

“Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.” Edward W. Said   For the first issue of Real Review, a new architecture literary review, I wrote about the Campus in Camps programme in Palestine, conceived and run by Alessandro Petti and SandiRead more

Forensic Architecture at the Venice Biennale

Selected by Alejandro Aravena, the curator of the 15th Architecture Venice Biennale, for the international pavillion, the Forensic Architecture exhibition included various projects and was centred around the reconstruction of a drone strike in Miranshah in Pakistan, which occurred in 2012. More on the Drone Strikes Investigation: http://www.forensic-architecture.org/case/drone-strikes/ Press Coverage: “One of the most powerful confrontations” – Architecture critic Oliver Wainwright in The Guardian:  https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/may/26/venice-architecture-biennale-alejandro-aravena “A haunting room by Forensic Architecture” – Architecture critic Edwin Heathcote in The Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/645b8698-2807-11e6-8ba3-cdd781d02d89  Read more

The legacy of the Cold War in Africa

Review Article commissioned for Al Jazeera English – original published here  ‘Red Africa’: From a generation of cinematographers to the end of apartheid – Africa, Cuba and the Soviet Union Though often absent from retellings of the Cold War, the interventions and alliances conceived in Southern Africa between the 1960s and 1980s, had a profound and sometimes devastating impact. Newly independent nations such as Angola, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) provided the stages for some of the most bloodyRead more

Hacking Madrid

Documentary for the AlJazeera English Rebel Geeks series Hacking Madrid is a documentary film exploring the first months in power of two young politicians, Pablo Soto and Miguel Arana, who have come to office amid the throes of radical political change in Spain. Their first mission is to change the way legislative and political decisions are made in Madrid, by implementing a more direct democracy that gives power back to the people. To do this, they must draw on newRead more

Black Friday

Video for Amnesty International On 1st August 2014, a ceasefire was called over Gaza, after days of heavy Israeli strikes. But the ceasefire quickly fell apart. This video tells the story of joint investigation between Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture, into the events of that day. The 1st August 2014 saw the darkest day in the Gaza Conflict of 2014 – Black Friday. This is the story of what happened that day – which saw the highest number of PalestinianRead more

Reflecting on Rebel Architecture

Conversation with the Portuguese architect, Paulo Moreira, for the Jornal Arquitectos, orignally published here REBEL ARCHITECTURE PAULO MOREIRA / ANA NAOMI DE SOUSA  Eyal Weizman, The Architecture of Violence, directed by Ana Naomi de Sousa Rebel Architecture is a series of six 25-minute television documentaries, produced by Al Jazeera TV. The films present “activist” and “rebel” practices undertaken in situations of environmental, economic or urban crisis. They accompany professionals who use architecture to intervene in their social and political context. OneRead more

Death in the city

Article commissioned for Guardian Cities – original published here Death in the city: what happens when all our cemeteries are full? Lack of space and soaring costs are familiar problems for anyone who lives in a city. From London to New York to Hong Kong, many are crammed into micro-apartments that cost hundreds of pounds or dollars a month to rent, unsure when they will be able to afford a more permanent abode. And it may be a similar story when they die,Read more

The Architecture of Violence

Documentary for the Aljazeera English Rebel Architecture series “Architecture and the built environment is a kind of a slow violence. The occupation is an environment that was conceived to strangulate Palestinian communities, villages and towns, to create an environment that will be unliveable for the people there”. On a journey across the settlements and roads of the West Bank and along the Separation Wall, Israeli architect Eyal Weizman demonstrates how architecture is central to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. IsraelisRead more

Guerrilla Architect

Documentary for the Aljazeera English Rebel Architecture series Santiago Cirugeda is a subversive architect from Seville who has dedicated his career to reclaiming urban spaces for the public. With his expert knowledge of urban planning legislation, Santiago is not afraid to “occupy”, or squat, abandoned space and to use his knowledge of the law to enable community building. “Self-building hasn’t been legalised in Spain, so any architect taking on this problem has to take on civil and criminal liability,” heRead more

Angola: Birth of a Movement

Documentary for the AlJazeera English series, Activate Although Angola is Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, most Angolans live on less than $2 a day. Meanwhile, the country’s president and his ruling party have clung on to power for over three decades, gaining tight control of both the public and private sectors, and stifling dissent and protest. But in 2011, inspired by the Arab spring, a protest movement broke out, led by young activists deeply rooted in the urban hip hop scene ofRead more