AboutBethlehem-based architectural practice Decolonizing Architecture members Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti, Eyal Weizman present some of the ideas that inform their work in conversation with artist Lorenzo Pezzani, Abdoumaliq Simone, urbanist and Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College and film curator Rasha Salti.
Edifices built and used under colonial rule are informed by the ideologies and power relations used in their construction. In Bethlehem, Algiers, Johannesburg or Berlin, de-colonizing the architecture of a liberated landscape is a condition for the re-negotiation of collective identities, based on new geo-political terms. This process encourages both imaginative and practical planning about the areas that already have or will be released from direct colonial control and opens up questions about the future of these sites and their inhabitants. How can the architecture of domination be reused, recycled or re-inhabited by those it dominated? What are the processes involved in planning and implementing the decolonization of a site? How can one inhabit the house of one's enemy?
The work of Decolonizing Architecture has been exhibited internationally, including recent exhibitions at Palais des Beaux Arts, Bruxelles (BOZAR, 2009), the Venice Biennale for Architecture (2008), the 11th Istanbul Biennale (2009) and the Rotterdam International Biennale of Architecture (2009).