Janet Abu-Lughod Library Seminar IV: Online public lecture series
Architectural Templates, Corresponding Histories, and Chance Encounters
by Mario D'Souza
How can we move away from the chronological and the linear to dwell instead on the simultaneous, the parallel and the imagined? How can we understand a site prior to understanding its architecture? How is its architecture intention, ideology, people and environment?
Using a series of architectural templates (the archaeological site, the housing colony, the freedom square, the dam, the sports stadium, the terminal, a campus, the camp, the factory, and the construction site), this lecture dwells on minor, marginalized and oral histories to speculate other futures and new custodians. Here, the political is enmeshed with capitalism, the environment, labour and time as currency. Drawing from architectural incidents in Ghana, Cairo, Baghdad, New Delhi and Dhaka amongst other sites, we attempt to think about specificity and abstraction together, in investigating power.
This lecture is part of the 4th Janet Abu-Lughod Library Seminar, Superheat taught by Ala Younis.
Mario D’Souza is a curator and writer. He was formerly curator at Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi. His research interests include political imaginaries, the nation building project, cultures and aesthetics of dissent, public acts of assembling, legal and extra-legal systems, evidence and truth. Mario is interested in emerging contemporary practices in the ‘Global South’ aligning South East Asia, South and West Asia, Africa and South America.
In 2019, he contributed to how to reappear: through the quivering leaves of independent publishing curated by Ala Younis and Maha Maamoun at the Beirut Art Center. His exhibitions with Khoj include This Must be True, that he co-curated in 2019, along with projects like ‘Evidence Room’ (2017) and ‘Turn of the tide’ (2018). He is currently on the curatorial team for the 5th edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2020.