Public Lecture by Marwa Al-Sabouni

From a Model of Peace to a Model of Conflict: The Effect of Architectural Modernization on the Syrian Urban and Social Make-up

Public Lecture by Marwa Al-Sabouni
architect, author and winner of Prince Claus Award

11 June 2019, 16:00-18:00, University Theater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16

From a land called the “Cradle of Civilizations” to one that is now described as “apocalyptic” and “one of the most dangerous places on Earth”, Syria may have no more critical moment than the current crisis to reflect on what is taking it down this terrifyingly dark path. We resort to history in order to decipher the mysteries of the present, and there is no more honest and direct history than that of the built environment: a concrete object that tells the narratives not only of the winners, the wealthy and the powerful, but also of those who were brushed aside, cut apart and walked over. In her book The Battle for Home, Marwa Al-Sabouni argues that reversing the process which led to the loss of home and the loss of urban fabric is the foundation of reclaiming these as essential elements of recovery after war and destruction. In this talk she examines four areas of transformation where modern urban planning and architecture have left their marks on the Levantine city, to give a clearer understanding of the role of architecture in conflict and peace and how this could be used in the act of rebuilding.

Moderator: Esther Peeren, Professor of Cultural Analysis & Academic Director of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam

Respondent: Nermin Elsherif, PhD candidate, Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture, University of Amsterdam & Bengin Dawod, Architect and Urban Designer, founder of The Soul of the City

Organizers: ASCA & Prince Claus Fund – registration (free):
Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/marwa-al-sabouni-public-lecture-tickets-61984023884