How Do We Help Rebuild Cities After War?
Cities are often the first targets of attack in war. The war in Syria and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen cities attacked and destroyed. How do we rebuild cities after war?
The post-war rebuilding process looks different in every instance: some cities are rebuilt as they looked before, while others follow entirely different blueprints. But rebuilding a city is about a lot more than simply bricks and mortar. How do we achieve justice following war? What is the role of reparations – and who should pay? Attention also needs to be given to the communities that still live there, as well as those who have been displaced. How do we ensure these people are returned home and these communities are restored?
This panel brings together two architects from Homs, Syria – one still working in Homs, the other in exile – a Ukrainian architect involved with Re: Mariupol and the co-founder of Mriia, an initiative that aims to imagine the future of Ukraine. Together, they will tackle these issues and discuss what we in the UK can do to help affected cities rebuild and recover following conflict or invasion. Ammar Azzouz is a Syrian-British architect and author of Domicide: Architecture, War and the Destruction of Home in Syria, and is joined by Marwa Al-Sabouni, Syrian architect and author of The Battle for Home and Building for Hope: Towards an Architecture of Belonging. Completing the panel are Yana Buchatska, an architect and designer originally from Vinnytsia, and Anna Kamyshan, multidisciplinary curator and artist and co-founder of Mriia.
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Ammar Azzouz is a Research Fellow at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. He is the Principal Investigator of Slow Violence and the City, a research project that examines the impact of violence on the built environment at the time of war and peace. He is also a Research Fellow at Somerville College at the university.
Marwa al-Sabouni is a Syrian architect and author of Building for Hope: Towards an Architecture of Belonging. She is an urban thinker who believes that architects have a duty to stimulate social cohesion. When war enveloped her city, Homs, she refused to leave and remained a virtual prisoner in her home for two years. In her autobiography, The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria, al-Sabouni analyses how architecture and city planning have played a role in fuelling violence and civil conflict by distorting community relationships and fragmenting societies.
Anna Kamyshan is a multidisciplinary curator and artist working in the fields of architecture, urbanism, and socio-cultural studies. Following the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Anna co-founded Mriia, an initiative that aims to imagine the future of Ukraine in a long-term perspective.
Yana Buchatska is an architect and designer originally from Vinnytsia. Yana works with projects of various scales — from urban to design solutions for exhibitions and furniture.
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