Lecture by Mabel O. Wilson

Lecture by Mabel O. Wilson

e-flux Architecture

Checkpoint 300, Bethlehem, 2019.

May 20, 2024
“On the Violence of Architecture”
May 30, 2024, 7pm
172 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

e-flux Architecture wraps our Spring 2024 season with “On the Violence of Architecture,” a lecture by Mabel O. Wilson in conversation with Mahdi Sabbagh at e-flux on Thursday, May 30 at 7pm.

In his first chapter “Concerning Violence” in The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon observes that “this world divided into compartments, this world cut in two is inhabited by two different species. The originality of the colonial context is that economic reality, inequality, and the immense difference of ways of life never come to mask the human realities. When you examine at close quarters the colonial context, it is evident that what parcels out the world is to begin with the fact of belonging to or not belonging to a given race, a given species.” How do we understand what happens when bodies routinely cross borders, when they are subjected to all forms of scrutiny? In what ways are processes of subjection performed, like nationality but also gender, sexuality, and race allowing agents of the state to determine the status of belonging, rights, and humanity? In narrating a personal journey through and within checkpoints in the West Bank, Mabel O. Wilson will consider how borders divide territory and function as wastelands, zones of suspended time, and disrupted space.

“On the Violence of Architecture” is presented as part of e-flux Architecture Lectures, a monthly series inviting researchers and practitioners to discuss timely issues in contemporary architecture, theory, culture, and technology.

Mabel O. Wilson is the Nancy and George E Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a Professor in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. With her practice Studio&, she was a member of the design team that recently completed the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. Exhibitions of her work have been featured at Venice Architecture Biennale, SFMoMA, Art Institute of Chicago, Istanbul Design Biennale, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s Triennial, and the Storefront for Art and Architecture. Wilson has authored Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016) and Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (2012), and co-edited the volume Race and Modern Architecture: From the Enlightenment to Today (2020). For the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, she was co-curator of the exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America (2021). She’s a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA?) a collective that advocates for fair labor practices on building sites worldwide.

Mahdi Sabbagh is a writer, architect, and urbanist. He is co-curator of the Palestine Festival of Literature and Editor at large at the Avery Review. His work has been published in the Journal of Public CultureJerusalem QuarterlyArchitecture of the Territory (Kaph Books, 2022), Open Gaza (AUC Press, 2021), The FunambulistArab Urbanism, and PLATFORM. He is the editor of Their Borders, Our World, a forthcoming PalFest publication from Haymarket Press, and is a 2023 Matakyev Research Fellow at the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands. Mahdi is a Doctoral Student at Columbia University and holds a Masters in Architecture from Yale.

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.         
–For elevator access, please RSVP to program [​at​] e-flux.com. The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.                  
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the event space and this bathroom.

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e-flux Architecture
May 20, 2024

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