This talk presents excerpts from the in-progress book manuscript, Architecture of Migration, which analyzes the history, visual rhetoric, and spatial politics of the Dadaab refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya. Through the architecture of refugees and the spatial practice, material culture, and iconography of humanitarianism, the book examines a long tradition of migration and coloniality, drawing from historical, ethnographic, and visual approaches and several years research in East Africa, South Asia, and Europe. The book manuscript takes seriously the problem of decoloniality as articulated by Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, the “re-telling of history of humanity and knowledge from the vantage point of those epistemic sites that received the ‘darker side’ of modernity.”
Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi joined the faculty of Barnard College, Columbia University, in 2018. She specializes in histories of architecture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with focus on African and South Asian questions. Her work examines modernity, urbanism, and migration through diverse forms of aesthetic and cultural production. She is interested in problems of historicity and archives, decoloniality, heritage politics, and feminist historiography. Her book manuscript Architecture of Migration analyzes the history, visual rhetoric, and spatial politics of the Dadaab refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya, and a long tradition of migration and coloniality. She also works on the dynamics of architectural modernism, craft, urbanism, and heritage in the Indian subcontinent, and on East African and South Asian historical intersections. Professor Siddiqi is the co-editor of Spatial Violence (Routledge), and her recent writing appears in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, The Journal of Architecture, and e-flux Architecture. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Archaeology, and a Master of Architecture degree and professional license. She practiced architecture in Bangalore and New York and her professional background includes work for the Women’s Refugee Commission.