Open lecture “Building-with a Wounded Planet: Care, Repair, Refuse, Resist” by Elke Krasny
We are living with a deeply wounded planet. The realities created by modernity were based on turning nature and human labor into sources of extraction and exploitation. The imaginaries of modernity, civilization, growth, and progress, took shape through building. Building the future or building the better world became metaphors for modernity, precisely because of the fact that modernity was being built. It took on shape and meaning in buildings, infrastructures, and entire cities. Today, we inhabit the ruins of this better future and live with a planet that has been wounded by the regime of modernity. Typology, materiality, and ways of organizing economies of land, resources and labor are central to care, repair, refusal, and resistance. If architecture is approached from the perspectives of care and repair, then a different understanding of the essentiality of care to life and survivance is as necessary as is the understanding that repairing the existing fabric could become a form of reparation un-building past injustices and inequalities materialized and spatialized through the built environment. Refusal and resistance can become a common ground for architects to organize politically against compulsory capitalism. Considering care, repair, refusal, and resistance as central to the critical practice of architecture today, the lecture will consider these ways of practicing architecture through analytical perspectives developed by discussing specific examples and their contexts.
Starting from the diagnosis that Architecture was central to the materialization of colonial-patriarchal capitalism and deeply implicated in Man becoming a geological force producing the condition of the Anthropocene and the ongoing climate ruination, this lecture asks what building-with a wounded planet can and will do for rebuilding our lives and our futures.
Elke Krasny is Professor for Art and Education at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is a feminist cultural theorist, urban researcher, curator, and author. Her scholarship addresses ecological and social justice at the global present with a focus on caring practices in architecture, urbanism, and contemporary art. With Angelika Fitz and Marvi Mazhar, she co-edited Yasmeen Lari. Architecture for the Future (MIT Press, 2023). Her 2023 book Living with an Infected Planet. Covid-19 Feminism and the Global Frontline of Care develops a feminist perspective on the rhetoric of war and the reality of care in pandemic times.
Yasmeen Lari at the rescue of Denso Hall, which was built as a library by the British in Karachi in 1881.
© Archive Yasmeen Lari