10th Urban and Landscape Days Call for papers April 26-27, 2013 Faculty of Architecture Estonian Academy of Arts Tallinn, Estonia www.architectureofwar.com
The international scientific conference “Between architecture of war and military urbanism” is the 10th edition of the annual series of Urban and Landscape Days. Organized by the Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Architecture, the event brings together architecture, planning, landscape studies, critical urban studies and art. The idea behind the theme of 2013 is to facilitate a creative and critical interrogation of links between the political economy of war, the transfer of military practices and technologies to urban realm, and the ‘architectures of war’, such as military bases, fortifications and refugee camps, which comprise a largely forgotten topic in planning and architecture. The conference is of interest to urban scholars, architectural theorists and historians, architects, political geographers, sociologists, and others from the related fields of theory and practice. To explore links between theory and practice, we invite a broad variety of presentations from scientific papers to artistic research and non-standard forms. The language of the conference is English. Abstract submission deadline is 1 October 2012.
Conference theme The concept of boundary has been central in theorizing the relation between war, politics, and civil life. Is there a clear-cut distinction between these states? Are the boundaries blurred and to what extent? These questions have been explored from Machiavelli to Schmitt and Foucault. The aim of the conference is to interrogate these relations in the urban realm. Architecture of war and military urbanism represent two opposite conceptualizations of the boundary. Military spatial practice can be then seen as integrating sharp separations and smooth flows. As a form of social practice, it also leads to the question of the boundary between the military and the civil. The conference focuses on exploring this question in relation to urban built environments, spatial technologies, and political economy of land. Various types of ‘interdictory space’ are common features of urban design and architecture in almost any context. From medieval city walls to closed cities of Soviet Union, from Berlin’s Mauer to the Israel-Palestina wall, military and civil urbanisms are inherently intertwined. In drones, we can see an immediate technological transfer between war zones and civil urban life. Civil technologies and light-weight mobile constructions (such as Buckminister Fuller’s geodesic dome) may be adopted in war conditions. Such seemingly politically neutral technological inventions have been used both by Drop City inhabitants and by the US Army. And land is the most contested site of 21st century politics – and war. From landgrabs of Global South to Occupy movements, the boundary between war, politics, and civil life is profoundly related to the contested question who owns and who uses the land.
Tracks We invite submissions to the following tracks: 1/ Urban built environments Strongholds, fortifications and military bases structure the patterns of urban development in long term. Shelters, field hospitals, or refugee camps represent instant architectural forms. In what ways do these planning, architectural, and engeneering interventions structure – in long-term and short-term perspective – the everyday life? How does the function of these built structures change from military to civil? How is the civil architecture used for military purposes? And how is the very notion of the ‘civil’ architecture structured by the notion of the ‘military’ architecture? 2/ Spatial technology Spatial technology is the platform of profound interpenetration of the military and the civil. Surveillance and urban combat technologies and practices that used to belong to cutting-edge war technology are increasingly deployed in civil policing and control. Civil and home-made tools are transformed and utilized for the purpose of attack and defense. How does technology shape the organization of military planning, management and labour? How does technology shape the proximity and distance between the military and the civil space? And what is the relationship between war and cyberwar? 3/ Political economy of land War itself can be studied as a form of spatial fix. But to equate war with spatial fix as such would be to disregard the complexities in the relationship of political geography and military practice. In what way does war structure the conflicting claims on land? And along what lines do conflicting land claims lead to military conflicts? What are the specificities of the contemporary political economy of war? What is the boundary and interpenetration between military and non-military spatial fixes?
Stephen Graham / Professor of Cities and Society, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne author of Splintering Urbanism (2001, with Graham Marvin) and Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism (2010)
Steven Flusty / Associate Professor, York University, Toronto author of Building Paranoia (1994) and De-Coca-Colonization: Making the Globe from the Inside Out (2003)
Donovan Wylie / Photographer, member of Magnum Photos author of The Maze (2004), British Watchtowers (2007) and Outposts (2011)
The conference will take place in Tallinn, Estonia. The questions of architecture of war and military urbanism are integral parts of the lived spaces of the country and the city. During the Cold War, there were two closed cities – Sillamäe and Paldiski – in the territory of the present-day Estonia. The two largest Estonian islands, Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, were categorized as a restricted territory for almost 50 years. As far as the city of Tallinn is concerned, its morphology is structured by the strongly preserved medieval wall. And the large part of the city waterfront consists of mostly obsolete military landscape, closed off as the military border zone during the Cold War. Having become the sites of real estate speculation, the ‘civil’ regeneration of military wasteland stands for one of the major urban planning conflict in Tallinn. The post-conference excursion will offer a chance to visit some of these places.
Submission Please upload your abstract (of no more than 500 words), contact information, and brief bio to the conference site http://www.architectureofwar.com no later than 1 October 2012. Please visit the conference site or contact the organizers at email@example.com for further information.