Halocaust: The Architecture of Counter-insurgency (zahra hussain)
Halocaust: (def) The ring comprising of various agencies that forms around a disastrous event. From Halo and Caust.
Halo (n): from Gk. halos “disk of the sun or moon, ring of light around the sun or moon”, The ring around a glorified person or thing.
Caust: Caust-ic (n) (physics) formed by the intersection of reflected or refracted parallel rays from a curved surface.
Halocaust is a concept developed through rigorous research by analysing contemporary space as it has evolved in the last decade in Pakistan. Since 2001, Pakistan has been a key ally to the US in the War on terror declared in Afghanistan. This involved a complex network of strategies, relations, operations, responsibilities and pacts between these countries. Although the war is active in Afghanistan and the North-Western space of Pakistan, the affect of war encompasses a much larger area irrespective of territorial boundaries. This project lies in the domain of geopolitics as it affects contemporary urban space and triggers a process of accelerated transformations. This project explores the present urban condition in Pakistan by examining the political and cultural ramifications of social and institutional networks present in different cities. It engages with the situation at various scales between power and space, and the regimes of authority performed through spatial assemblages.
A censor to trace transformations, Halocaust is a process that begins at the moment of a spontaneous destructive event, followed by the convergence of various agencies to contain the chaos, which in turn ensures regulatory practices in space.
The project takes deeper interest in these relations by analyzing the spatial configuration of their operation, materials that are plugged into the architecture, the reshaping of urban space and the emergence of a collective subjectivity in a conflict-stricken society. It questions the active making of urban morphology; the role of the architect and the urban designers, the surveillance and security mechanisms and the incalculable affect of warfare as it seep into the spaces of daily life.
Through the intense archival procedure, the research material acts as the nomadic discursive element that becomes the point of convergence. It activates a forum around itself that dissects the site under analysis.
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