Space and Violence. Architecture in modern armed conflicts.
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In conflict-shaped cities, change of space is a significant factor. Violence creates borders, voids, changing shapes and re-functions spaces. Re-building, re-uniting and bringing back to peaceful life is a great challenge. Despite the obvious importance, there is not much reflection on conflict happening in an architectural discourse; even though, it is the architect, who stands behind these new siege goals – built heritage. According to Ole Bouman, possible reason for such passivity of architectural engagement can that architecture is usually associated with construction, with a will for better, the positive. In most cases, architects role is to create replacing utopia, “better future”, as all the nightmare or war is to be erased as soon as possible. “Architecture simply has a hard time addressing despair”. The aim of this research is to investigate concepts of destruction, abandonment, separation, memorialization and temporality of contemporary cities safety; develop understanding about violence-shaped spaces, their meaning and perception; and collective memory. Historic period of this work is post WW2, Cold war and mainly modern conflicts of late 20th – early 21st century. Research is focusing more on spatial features of armed conflict, it`s influence on society through spatial changes, much less on the chronological order or a specific cite. The core is conditionally divided into 3 chapters, representing main spatial phenomena caused by violent events: destruction, separation and memory. Chapters also represent different stages of conflict, from the active phase of conflict to its memorialization. The research question is how space in all of this phases is influenced by violence and where is architecture`s place in this process. I use stories of cities under siege as case studies. By analysing events time lines, photos, maps, memories and documents, I am looking for understanding of the conflict nature, influence and possible ways to reflect on it in architectural or/and artistic way. There are two scales in research: city and building; and the time frame is from post-WW2 till current times. In each chapter, different disciplines will be involved in spatial phenomena analysis. Sociological perspective on destruction, international law about protection and restoration, as well as artistic interpretations for memory. This thesis is based on theoretical and interpretive research, as well as collecting stories, facts and architectural, artistic and other projects to compare analyse and find tendencies. By following storyline that goes through the book, passing 3 chapters as main phases of armed conflict, I compare collected data, analyse tendencies and facts, as well as theoretic works dedicated to each topic.