What is the role of architecture and urban design in the rebuilding of post-conflict cities? Which were the visions that shaped Rotterdam, Mostar, Beirut and Baghdad? How did architects, urban planners, policy-makers, and residents deal with the social trauma and the representation of their identity? After a two minute silence to commemorate the victims of war all over the world, we look backwards to historic and geographic examples of rebuilding post-conflict cities. What can we learn from each context and approach to rethink new post-conflict cities as Aleppo?
With, among others
Post-WWII European cities: Rotterdam & London
How did a new generation think of rebuilding the cities of Rotterdam and London after totally been destroyed? As an expert in the field of postwar modern architecture, Dirk van den Heuvel will talk about the transformation of post-WWII Rotterdam and London, from destruction to renewal towards a utopian vision for an open society.
Post-civil war Eastern European reconstruction: Mostar & Macedonia
What is the interrelation between cultural heritage and the shaping of identity after the civil war? Arna Mackic, an architect based in Amsterdam, will talk about the shaping of identity in Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Arna her book ‘Mortal Cities & Forgotten Monuments’ won the Dutch Design Award in 2015 and was voted Best Dutch Book Design in 2014. Biljana Volcevska will take us to the case of Macedonia and its ongoing cultural rebranding through massive architectural and monument projects which attempt to rewrite the national history.
The rebuilding of the Middle East
What are lessons to be learned from more recent rebuilding in Beirut (Libanon), Uruzgan (Afghanistan) and Kobanî (North-Syria)? Reber Dosky is a Kurdish-Dutch filmmaker in his documentaries the Sniper of Kobani and Radio Kobani he shows the effects of war on the border town of Kobanî in Rojava, Syria. Kobanî has been liberated from IS and its citizens have started their rebuilding process. With a short fragment and a story from Reber we will get an update and insight into the rebuilding process of this town just south of Turkey.
Together with Jan Willem Petersen and Chris Keulemans we will talk about recent cases of rebuilding in other countries. Jan Willem Petersen is architect and founder of Specialist Operations. Since 2013 he has done fieldwork in Afghanistan. Dressed as an Afghan he investigated the Dutch rebuilding project in Uruzgan. Furthermore, he has investigated some parts of the research in Lebanon after the war with Israel in 2006. 10 years ago Chris Keulemans travelled to Beirut (Lebanon) amongst architects, artists, designers and activists to rethink the rebuilding of the city. This year, ten years later, he made the same trip again but now to start rethinking the destroyed cities of Syria. What have they come across that should be taken into account once you start rethinking a post-conflict city as Aleppo?