Focusing on the city of Baghdad as a site of repetitive conflict in
modern history while examining how negative events affect its context and vice versa, could lead us to an understanding of this city’s need for new
architecture; a form of architecture that reacts to the constant states of war,
attacks and social irregularity. The
careful consideration of the roles of accidents, constant casualties and residents’
displacement due to high risk changes within their home environment, offer keys
to understand the connection between Baghdad’s conflict and its impacts on what
the city contains through its rich historical layering.
Accidents andCasualties Negative events can quite possibly create positive outcomes; precisely accidents
of war and conflict attacks can generate the un-expected, or even reveal
elements in the city fabric not previously known. Simultaneously, they could also produce even
worse outcomes than war itself, by generating the unexpected through different
tools that help in achieving those unforeseen accidents. Paul Virilio declares
weapons of war as one of those instruments that carry out accidents in states
of conflict and uncertainty as accidents become a form of military operation. In Baghdad, negative accidents of war have
left the city in a constantstate of hesitation, where commonly
expected human relations and forms of communication, that the city thrived upon
prior to the 2003 attacks, become impossible.
If accidents of war achieve such an obvious negative impact; is it clear
what effect this has on the city? Results of such accidents reveal the very
basis of society and its woven threads. When the vital and basic elements of
communications are cut, all life forms are altered and isolated, leaving a weak
social mesh. This mesh is further affected
by permanent threats and temporary disputes, such as the recent sectarian
differences that have begun to change the capital’s map of inhabitation. On the other hand, the positive outcome from
such warfare accidents might be represented in realizing the need for a new
alternative of dwelling and being within the wounded city. This realization could represent the possible creation
of the new layer added to the damaged city and to the rich historical mesh of
The main indicator of such altering needs is the
number of casualties over the conflict period. This can offer us a relational-scale of how
heavy the strains of the conflict are on the city inhabitants. Over time, we see that the amount of casualties
in every major war increases according to how recent that conflict is. A simple comparison would be the 54 million
casualty increase between the First and Second World Wars. And in a city like Baghdad which went
thorough constant intervals of war and destructive occupations in its modern
history, starting with the British Occupation in
Mesopotamia in the 1920s up to its recent occupation by the Coalition forces,
the death toll of civilians (unengaged in war activity) rose dramatically due
to the increase of military air strikes and firefights.
thinking of casualties in terms of a number gathered from different sources, it
is perhaps more important for architecture to consider these numbers as
experiences which occurred in the presence of three elements combined at one
time. The formula of death in states of
war consists of three parts 1 the
human presence 2 architectural
existence and 3 the impact of the
accidental instruments which create the moments of destruction.
What then do these experiences imply
when considering the architecture of the past and the architecture of the future?
Can architecture help protect future accidents of war and conflict? In Baghdad, one must understand the social,
cultural and historical fabric in order to analyse new structural formations new
continuous forms, as tools of liveability under the uncontrollable events of
deadly aggression where inhabitants (whether intended or not) become the main
targets along with the structures that contain them.
Source: (Architecture of War: A conflict generated Architecture - By ReeM Al-Rawi )
Buying Sketch-Books & Note-Books is one of my favorite things ... the creative covers of some of them create excitement and inspiration for what could be expressed within the folds of their pages... I would buy and collect the best ones I come across and wait till the previous ones are full till the new ones get their turn .. I like smaller sizes which can be taken with me anywhere in any bag along with the right pen ready for spontaneous use.. here are some of the inspiring and creative sketchbooks you can find out there...
It's that time of the year again, Art Dubai 2013 started at Madinat Jumairah March.20th.2013. I was excited to be invited to the opening night of this very inspiring event where art from all over is presented through the many galleries in the UAE and the region... enjoy the snap shots of this year's art-full exhibition.
you can catch Art Dubai till its last day on Saturday March 23rd, 2013.