Troubled Sites and Oily Stories

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In the ecological turn in architecture practices, thinking of ecology draws our attention to its etymology, eco, means home. But as Hélène Frichot writes, ‘what home is supposed to be, especially where home is eradicated, wiped out, deforested, subsumed or flooded.’ Such troubled sites, homes that are disturbed, evacuated, occupied, destructed, silenced, complicated by the forces of labour, migration, colonization, exploitation of natural resources, are the contexts where I situate my work. Such sites are characterized by failure of the human-centered project of “development” and “progress”. But how do we (human + other-than-human) inhabit these sites while dealing with the failures that have left us in ecological crisis? To support life in such sites I am expanding architecture as decolonizing infrastructures and support structures, where infrastructure architecture comes to act as a practice that departs from the question of ‘how the world is breaking down’ to ‘how the world gets put back together.’ In the radical process of putting the broken pieces together, infrastructure architecture as a novel interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary practice can take shape and re-exist beyond the colonial logic and Western canon and epistemology.

In this proposal, I would like to present my ongoing artistic research developing ‘situated storytelling’ as decolonizing method of dealing with ecologies formed by oil and petroleum. With the current case study of geopolitical conditions of gulf region, and the infrastructures of internal and external colonization of oil resources during history till today, I am experimenting with the concept of ‘oily stories’, that in the manner of oil, pollutes, flows, leaks, spills and spreads over boundaries and expands its environmental, political and social threats beyond specific borders. I investigate what are the elements of these stories and how they can be made and told?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020
EventSAR 11: Crisis Collective - University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Duration: 25 Mar 202027 Mar 2020


ConferenceSAR 11: Crisis Collective
Internet address


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