[Image: Photo: Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images/Via LA Times.]
Over the next few days I will be participating in a virtual symposium over at CTLab dedicated to the topic of Urbicide (the killing of cities), the logic of which underpins much of what has ever driven a “military urbanism.” Think Shock n’ Awe, Israel’s decimation of Lebanon, of Gaza, the massive destruction wrought in Sarajevo and Bosnia during the war – widespread ruining of the urban environment; the genocide of cultural heritage through architectural obliteration.
The first of several symposiums lined up over the next few months themed around ‘urban conflict’ features Martin Coward, author of Urbicide: The Politics of Destruction, where he lays out the urbicidal dynamics of cities that are targets of war and asks, aside from their physicality what is truly at stake in their annihilation? Well, the answer may very well be the essence of existential fulfillment as human beings are fundamentally the products of space, and as physical space is inherently public and constitutive of our relations to others. There is essentially everything at stake, from our politics to our collective identity. Martin’s opening remarks were just published, so check them out.
There are some other great participants invovled: Stephen Graham (University of Durham – whom you should already know by now), Tony Waters (Chico State), Marc Tyrrell (Carleton University), John Matthew Barlow (Concordia University), and Antoine Bousquet (Birkbeck College, London), not to mention Mike Innes who runs CTLab. I will be tossing a few questions into the mix here and there to feed my own edification and specific interests around this topic while trying to come up with something interesting to add to the larger discussion. This is very cool to be a part of and so a thanks goes out to Mike for inviting me!
Keep your eyes on the symposium index link here at CTLab over the next few days, I am sure this will be super provocative. More to come later.