She felt just like a matryoshka doll, lying in a special anti-mosquito sleeping bag, under a mosquito net, in a tent inside another tent within the secure enclosure of the UN military base in Mali. On 7 April 2016, Malkit Shoshan, curator of the Dutch Pavilion at the forthcoming Venice Architecture Biennale presented a report of her recent research trip to Mali.
She visited the cities Bamako and Gao, but her principal destination was the UN base, Camp Castor. In this environment where security is the number one priority, Shoshan explored how, through an integrated design approach, a military base can be a catalyst for local development instead of a closed-off fort.
Following her report, four military staff involved in UN peacekeeping missions gave an insight into how military bases are currently designed. Sometimes they leave a lot of waste behind, but they are increasingly being designed to be fully dismantled and taken away. The approach that Shoshan proposes is new and has inspired them to think in new ways.
The project continues the research that Shoshan conducted over the past few years as a research fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut into the progressive approach the Netherlands has taken in its involvement in UN peacekeeping missions. The UN has adopted an integrated approach combining Defence, Diplomacy, and Development. Shoshan proposes adding a fourth D for Design. At the invitation of Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shoshan presented her project BLUE: Island in Cities at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in January 2016. Camp Castor is a case study as part of the research that Shoshan will present this summer at the Venice Architecture Biennale under the title BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions.
This Thursday Night was moderated by Maarten Kloos.
More information about BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions.
Malkit Shoshan founded the architectural think tank FAST The Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory. Her work explores and highlights the relations between architecture, politics and human rights. She is also author of the award-winning book Atlas of the Conflict. Israel-Palestine (2010), and of Village (2014). As a research fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, she developed the long-term research project Drones and Honeycombs, a study of the contemporary architecture and landscape of war and peace. Shoshan is currently curator of the Dutch pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (28 May to 27 November 2016).