We propose an experimental piece of writing that is a mix of a semi-structured interview, poetry, and imagery through which we will explore the complexities of making place amidst catastrophe and/or devastation. Central to our exploratory investigation is a focus on what building means in the context of space-making practices. Through this poetic experimentation we will tease out what building other futures—and here we understand building in an expansive sense—might look and feel like. Some of the questions we will explore are: how has black life in the diasporas envisioned another mapping of the world that reckons with the long durée of extractive and toxic colonialism—whose logics have historically and presently relegated black life to particular times and spaces of devastation? In what ways have Africans both on the Continent and in the Diaspora responded to ruptures, wounds, and gaps? What does it mean for us to make life happen in the wake of and/or amidst (neo-)colonial practices of place annihilation? How does one narrate place-making in spaces that have been marked as “uninhabitable”? What does maintaining a conceptual separation between space and place enable when the material of building still echoes expansive colonial logic?

Egbert Alejandro Martina 

Ola Hassanain
trained her focus on the subtle politics of space—namely, how built spaces react to and reinforce violence from state entities, which in turn, creates a built environment that reflects, responds to, regulates the lives of those who inhabit it. Her most recent work explores an idea of “space as discourse,” an expanded notion of space that encompasses political and environmental questions. Her work tries to develop a spatial vocabulary that follows how ruptures presented by 'political events', make it possible to aspire to new kind of ecologies. Ola's development of critical spatial practice is party informed by her post-academic training which includes an ongoing Ph.D. in Practice candidacy at the Academy of Fine Art, a BAK fellowship 2017-2018, and teaching in HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and Sandberg Institute amongst others.