Tuesday, May 17, 2011

day job, continued

Later today I will be in Cesena to talk about Italian colonial urbanism at the University of Bologna, where Maristella Casciato teaches a doctoral seminar. I gave a rough draft version of the talk at the American Academy last night. One of the things I really appreciate about Italian modernism - especially in East Africa - is its sensitivity to topography, climate and historical context. This doesn't excuse the architecture of its nefarious side. This was an architecture that eagerly represented a fascist, imperial state with racial segregation and class hierarchies. But it is an architecture that is much loved by the Eritreans and Ethiopians for whom it represents home, and I am fascinated by the way it has formed an armature for East African urbanism over the past 70 years.

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