ARCH Seminar: “Architecture of Migration: The Dadaab Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Settlement”, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, 4:30PM April 6 2024 (EN)

You are cordially invited to the book talk series III organized by Bilkent University Department of Architecture (BUDA).

Architecture of Migration: The Dadaab Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Settlement

Speaker: Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi

Date: 6 May 2024 Monday
Time: 16:30
Place: FFB-22

Speaker Bio:
Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi was born in Chennai, India, and specializes in histories of architecture, modernity, and migration, centering African and South Asian questions of historicity and archives, heritage politics, and feminist and colonial practices. Her scholarship aims to foreground histories of marginalized people and figures and promote practices of collaboration and support, especially concerning the lives and narratives of communities that have been systematically excluded or silenced. Thinking through objects, buildings, and landscapes, her work examines intellectual histories and diverse forms of esthetic practice and cultural production. She is the author of Architecture of Migration: The Dadaab Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Settlement (Duke University Press, 2023), Minnette de Silva and a Modern Architecture of the Past (forthcoming), and co-editor of Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration (Architecture Beyond Europe, Canadian Center for Architecture, Aggregate) and Spatial Violence (Architectural Theory Review, republished by Routledge)

Environments associated with migration are often seen as provisional, lacking both history and architecture. As Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi demonstrates in Architecture of Migration, a refugee camp’s aesthetic and material landscapes—even if born out of emergency—reveal histories, futures, politics, and rhetorics. She identifies forces of colonial and humanitarian settlement, tracing spatial and racial politics in the Dadaab refugee camps established in 1991 on the Kenya-Somalia border—at once a dense setting that manifests decades of architectural, planning, and design initiatives and a much older constructed environment that reflects its own ways of knowing. She moves beyond ahistorical representations of camps and their inhabitants by constructing a material and visual archive of Dadaab, finding long migratory traditions in the architecture, spatial practices, landscapes, and iconography of refugees and humanitarians. Countering conceptualizations of refugee camps as sites of border transgression, criminality, and placelessness, Siddiqi instead theorizes them as complex settlements, ecologies, and material archives created through histories of partition, sedentarization, domesticity, and migration.