On November 12th at 6pm, Professor Ikem Okoye will deliver a talk as a part of the AKPIA Lectures in the Department of Architecture at MIT. To listen in to a live webcast, click here.
“Elusive Things: Materialities and Spatialities in the Vicinity of Nigér”
Architects, architectural historians, and conservators from across three continents, all pursuing their own agendas and interests, have worked rather more intensively in the Sahel over recent years than in the past, African practitioners included. The context is one, however, in which architectural histories that are only ever partial, produced here under constraint, can leave unreliable interpretations of the architectural past to which at least some architects and conservators refer, or from which they seek inspiration or direction. Overcoming the reading of historical architecture through the lens of the traditional conceptualizations of space and medium with which architectural knowledge has worked, in favor of critical engagement with dynamic intersections of spatiality and materiality, and their forms of situatedness, offer superior ground not only for historical reconstruction, but for contemporary architecture and conservation. This might be especially true, if we do so imagining the possibility of architectures and historiographies of decoloniality.