Post-Traumatic Afghanistan: A monument for peace
Lecture | Wednesday 11th of March 2015 at 19:00
at the Architecture Research Center of the University of Nicosia
This proposal looks at the notion of culture beyond the poetic explanations that were embedded by different approaches and to read it means to understand it within social and political context. Bamiyan as a post-traumatic city has experienced political conflicts that have dominated its physical environment. The cultural voids of such trauma are embodied not only within the memory of its people but exist as the absence of “cultural space”. Although often romanticised, this suggests that the notion of culture is something more than social and the claim of it can become the apparatus for political conflict. The Buddha Cliffs, are such examples in which the productive space of culture is marked with the absence of its main treasures, the Buddha Statues.
Taking into consideration four main artifacts that are part of Bamiyan’s local environment the Cultural Centre is proposed as an archipelago of these elements, creating a new way of reading both the historical monument of the Buddha Cliff and the entire city. These elements are: firstly, the walls as physical borders that frame their housing units. Secondly, the plantations that create a mosaic that re-defines the landscape. Thirdly the “invisible” but yet formal passages that are found in the surrounded area that also re-configure the city’s DNA and finally the cliff as an element of both natural and artificial context.