Culturescaping the Post-Conflict Environment: The Spatial Politics of "Peace"
Abstract: States and international organizations alike typically pose “peace” in terms of a cessation of military violence, on the one hand, and the introduction of the institutions and practices of the liberal-democratic state, on the other. Practiced in this way, peace-building becomes synonymous with state-building and the historical legacy of peace-building within global antifascist struggles is forgotten. How is the built environment enlisted in contemporary “peacebuilding” projects? I will explore this question by focusing on the role of cultural heritage in post-conflict Kosovo, where post-conflict peace-building has excluded the heritage of antifascism in favor of ethnic-based heritage— a rendering of peace-building in depoliticized terms that cannot encompass the anti-fascist resistance that is urgent across the globe.

Biography: Andrew Herscher endeavors to bring research on architecture and cities to bear on struggles for rights and justice across a range of global sites. In his scholarship he explores the architecture of political violence, migration and displacement, and self determination and resistance. His books include Violence Taking Place: The Architecture of the Kosovo Conflict (Stanford University Press, 2010), The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit (University of Michigan Press, 2012), and Displacements: Architecture and Refugee (Sternberg Press, 2017); with Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi he co-edited Spatial Violence (Routledge: 2016) and with Daniel Bertrand Monk he is co-authoring The Global Shelter Imaginary (University of Minnesota Press: forthcoming). He has also cofounded a series of militant research collaboratives that work to support and empower communities under threat of disenfranchisement and displacement in Detroit, including Detroit Resists and the We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective. He is currently based at the University of Michigan where he teaches in the Architecture Program, the Department of Art History, and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and co-directs the interdisciplinary faculty/graduate seminar “Decolonizing Pedagogies.”
Herscher, Andrew. "Culturescaping the Post-Conflict Environment: The Spatial Politics of 'Peace.'" Paper presented at "Reconstruction as Violence: The Case of Aleppo," Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 10-11, 2019.
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT
reconstruction process