The territory in-between
University of Johannesburg GSA - Cabo Verde
Drawings, plans, elevations
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We live in an era of unprecedented migration. According to the UNHCR, the world is currently experiencing more human displacement and migration than after World War I. This project explores the interplay between physical and imagined spaces, through the fluidity and stasis of human mobility in Cape Verde in ways that allow us to rethink our ways of understanding the state, boundaries and space.Though world territories and borders have become markedly more fluid to the flows of capital, media, and digital knowledge access; the movement of bodies across borders is arguably more contentious and arduous than ever before. Entry and rights of access to land territories is highly regulated and policed. Consequently, millions of migrants live precarious lives as migrant laborers, refugees and undocumented persons. Migrants' journeys are commonly portrayed as a linear progression from home to host nations. In reality, however, their spatial movements are replete with interruptions and discontinuities; occupying spaces of hiding, waiting, diversion, escape and settlement. Using drawings, I probe both these fluid and static notions of territory in Cape Verde. A country whose sea territory – spanning 200 000 km2 is fifty times its landmass (4000 km2) – it has a larger sea land ratio than most countries and with its close proximity to Africa, Latin America and Europe, the island is a place where migrants arrive, linger, escape or remain .A series of drawings explore this in-between space and critique two conventional underpinnings of territory: 'site' and 'state', uncovering and exploring the relationship between the formation, contestation and absurdity of territories, the production of edges, borders , site, state and nations, and the experiences of bodies through these states. While state often refers to an organized political community under one government, it also denotes one's condition at a specific time. The fluid and transient nature of the themes in my project suggests a reconsideration of the relationship between site and project. A more fruitful direction lies in the recognition that all sites are constructions, whether out of a set of empirical conditions, the imagination, or both. These findings have implications for our understanding of the state, geography and migration. The architecture considers the relationship between the formation, contestation and absurdity of territories, the production of edges, borders, site, state and nations,. It takes on the form of a pit-stop for migrants from their country of origin to a new destination. It questions and highlights laws of entry and exit and manipulates rules from the conventional harbor or airport, as a critique on current border-policing. It includes a crematorium, a bathhouse, a fish farm and a desalination buoy.The smoke from the crematorium, visible on the horizon from the mainland of Cabo Verde, is the only sign of the discreet pit-stop – a constant reminder of the ongoing and difficult journey of migrants. The programmer re-imagines the acts of entry and exit and turns the traditional ‘non-place’ of a port into a site of place and ritual.
3 word address features
Territory Threshold Ownership
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