The chronicle of increasing isolation of a group of artists attempting to reach the World's most remote human inhabited place, the island of Tristan da Cunha.
Meziara is a village in Northern Lebanon, where most of its residents do business in Nigeria for most of the year, before returning every summer. The suburb to an invisible city.
The extraction and export of 'Jerusalem Stone' is one of the most lucrative businesses in the Palestinian Territories, and remains highly unregulated. Everyone wants a piece of the holy land.
Souvenirs are tokens that help to perpetuate spatial narratives. Mass produced around the world, they serve as a vehicle through which power narratives are unfolded and displayed.
MEMENTO LOCI unpacks some of these strategies.
Slavutych was built to rehouse the workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It is made up of 13 districts, each inspired by a different Soviet city. With 86, we are building a new district based on Athens.
STOP OVER CITY
Moscow City is a decaying business district in Central Moscow. By linking it to the two largest airports in the city and giving it the status of 'international transfer zone' we would revitalize this vacant territory.
STATUES & STATUTES
VDNHk park in central Moscow is a spatial technology that serves to advance an imperialistic idea based on an old regime.
(re)appropriating (post)soviet narratives.
NATION STATE OF MIND
Nation State of Mind proposes an alternative understanding of the nation in a post-national world. What is the role of territoriality and locality in Ecumenopolis?
Mariupol is a mono-industry town in Eastern Ukraine. Its population has been shrinking since the collapse of the USSR. This is a manifesto to embrace its shrinking condition and work with it.
EXPEDITION TO ECUMENOPOLIS
Expedition to Ecumenopolis is a series of workshops that we deliver to different groups in order to collectively think about ideas evolving around contemporary urbanism in the age of hyper-globalisation.
VOCABULARY FOR ECUMENOPOLIS
In the era of Globalization and the Antropocene, we find that there are a new set of urban qualities/phenomena that take place globally. Here is a glossary that attempts to identify some of those.
We were part of a group of artists invited by T.A.P (Temporary Art Platform) and the local municipality of Meziara to find alternatives and solutions for an industrial site—that would soon be relocated—near the village, an enclave within the enclave, surrounded by an oak and pine forest. The brief required new development ideas with social and environmental goals.
The Visit is a video piece that extends beyond the identified industrial site and is comprised of research about the unique urban typology of Meziara itself. The village is one of the wealthiest communities in Lebanon, largely dependent on offshore investments. It is empty for most of the year, except for the summer months, when its diaspora population returns for the holidays. In The Visit we propose a speculative future scenario for the regeneration site proposed by the local governors.
We conceptualized the Lebanese mountain village of Meziara as the suburb of an invisible city, which owes its present shape to the remittances of villagers that migrated to Brazil, Benin, and Nigeria over the past century. Its form is shaped in this cross-national movement – configured precisely through the transnational set of networks rather than the built fabric of the village itself. The cord – the invisible infrastructure of global financial and telecommunication flows, and migratory routes - that connects it with Lebanon and other global destinations, is what keeps Meziara alive; Meziara exists as the externality but also the objective of social and capital flows.
Understanding this dependency both in terms of humans (who repopulate the village every summer) but also in terms of capital (for they directly finance not only their luxurious holiday homes, but also the infrastructure of roads, water, religious and leisure facilities that keeps the village alive), we proposed a future vision for the industrial site was to propose a place where ‘Meziarians of the World’ could re-connect, based on the notion that as long as the connectivity between Meziara and its ‘diaspora’ in different urban destinations worldwide is maintained, Meziara will exist.
A portrait of a suburb of an invisible city
Video/ 8’33’’ ----- 2014