Stories we can’t tell: On writing dissident architecture

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Writing architecture is not writing about architecture, but writing it, making it. It is to create new grounds, sites of actions, and construct characters who build these grounds and change them by inhabiting them critically and performatively. By situating writing in contexts where direct ways of expression are impossible, I investigate how dissident writing can circumvent the bans of an oppressive power by inventing an Aesopian language. Dissident writing is to write with multiple voices and many authors – not all of whom are welcome. To develop a tactic of writing with unwelcome co-authors, i.e. writing with the dominant power, but against it, is what dissidence could bring into writing architecture. In this way, writing dissident architecture deals with two main questions. One is: how to tell a story we cannot tell? And the other: how can this struggle with an impossible narration create a dissident architecture? To investigate these questions, in this text domestic spaces of houses are considered as a key example of performing grounds for dissidents. By going through an experiment of writing situated in the spaces of a demolished house, I discuss how the construction of dissident characters who perform in the house and the application of different genres and experimental writings complicate the house and bring on the writing of a dissident architecture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalText: Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019


  • creative writing
  • writing architecture
  • dissidence
  • censor
  • Aesopian language
  • ketman
  • performative writing
  • domestic spaces
  • house


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