Samia Henni: From Counterrevolution to Counterinsurgency
Where: The Cooper Union
7 E. 7th St. | 41 Cooper Sq.
212-353-4100 Price: Free
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During the Algerian Revolution (1954–1962), French army officers tested a number of military strategies, theorized them, called them Modern Warfare, and exported them to North and South America. The talk discusses the genealogies and spatial ramifications of these practices and theories, as well as their dissemination in the USA during and after the Algerian Revolution. It scrutinizes the scholarship of French military officer David Galula at Harvard University in the 1960s and demystifies The Battle of Algiers and its screening at the Pentagon in 2003, a few months after the invasion of Iraq.
Samia Henni was born in Algiers, Algeria. She is an architect and an architectural historian and theorist who works at the intersection of architecture, planning, colonial practices, and military operations from the early 19th century up to the present day. Her book Architecture of Counterrevolution: The French Army in Northern Algeria (Zurich: gta Verlag, 2017) examines French colonial territorial transformations and spatial counterinsurgency measures in Algeria under colonial rule during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962). The book discusses the complicity of architecture and planning in strategies of offense, defense, control, and surveillance. Henni is the curator of the exhibition Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French War in Algeria at the gta Institute, ETH Zurich (Apr-Jun 2017); Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam (Sep 2017-Jan 2018); and Archive Kabinett in Berlin (Dec 2017-Jan 2018). She received her Ph.D. (with distinction, ETH Medal) in History and Theory of Architecture from the ETH Zurich. Currently, she teaches at Princeton University’s School of Architecture.
The Intra-Disciplinary Seminar (IDS) Public Lecture Series, designed as an introduction to some of the most pressing questions driving contemporary thought and practice, consists of lectures by artists, theorists, activists, designers, writers, curators, and other practitioners involved in the arts from positions that embody an interdisciplinary approach or that imply new uses for disciplinary traditions.
This year’s series is organized along three general directions: “Open Space: Building”, where we look at the social function of architecture, and how people move through space or build physical or symbolic spaces. “Open Image: Thresholds of Form”, where we think about the practice of image making, as well as the perception and interpretation of aesthetic production. “Open Methods: The (Post-)Colonial Contemporary”, where we wonder how to theorize the present moment, with regard to its political and ethical dimensions. IDS is organized by Leslie Hewitt, assistant professor at the School of Art of The Cooper Union, and Omar Berrada the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists’ residency in Marrakech and an adjunct instructor at The Cooper Union.Buy tickets/get more info now