Samia Henni

Architecture of Counterrevolution
The French Army in Northern Algeria

Zurich: gta Verlag, 2017
16,5 x 24,5 cm, softcover
336 pages, 73 illustrations b/w
ISBN 978-3-85676-376-3

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The book examines the intersection of French colonial policies and military counterinsurgency operations in architecture in Algeria during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962). During this bloody and protracted armed conflict, the French civil and military authorities profoundly reorganized Algeria's vast urban and rural territory, drastically transformed its built environments, rapidly implanted new infrastructure, and strategically built new settlements in order to keep Algeria under French rule. The colonial regime had designed and completed not only tactical destructions, but also new constructions in order to allow for the strict control of the Algerian population and the protection of the European communities of Algeria. This study focuses on three interrelated spatial counterrevolutionary measures: the massive forced resettlement of Algerian farmers; the mass-housing programs designed for the Algerian population as part of General Charles de Gaulle's Plan de Constantine; and the fortified administrative new town planned for the protection of the French authorities during the last months of the Algerian Revolution. The aim is to depict the modus operandi of these settlements, their roots, developments, scopes, actors, protocols, impacts, and design mechanisms.

War Zones
gta papers 2
Zurich: gta Verlag, 2018
2019. 21 x 29,7 cm
134 pages, 89 illustrations
ISBN 978-3-85676-390-9

With contributions by Nora Akawi, Silvia Berger Ziauddin, Jean-Louis Cohen, Ismae’l Sheikh Hassan, Samia Henni, Léopold Lambert, Asja Mandic, Eva Schreiner, Felicity D. Scott, Stanislav von Moos, Alfredo Thiermann, and Daniel Weiss.

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After the Second World War and the onset of the Cold War, warfare took different forms, and war zones became gradually blurred and often undeclared. People, landscapes, and built environments came to be subjugated to the strains and constraints of these forms of war, serving both civil and military purposes of armed conflicts. The contributions to War Zones investigate some of these implicit or explicit conditions, legacies, and impacts. From colonial or total war, asymmetric war or counterinsurgency, to barricaded or besieged cities, refugee camps or borderlines, to nuclear bunkers or "war ghosts," to the state of emergency and drone warfare, these texts disclose the spatial aspects, statuses, and formation processes of past and current war zones.

Selected Articles

"Colonial Prescriptions in Paris." Perspecta 52 "Empire," Yale Architectural Journal (2019, Forthcoming).

"Female Agency and Psychological Warfare: French Colonial Civil and Military Interventions in Algeria, 1954-1962." In Productive Universals-Specific Situations. Clinical Engagements in Art, Architecture, and Urbanism, eds. Anne Kockelkorn and Nina Zschocke. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019.

"Boumedienne, Niemeyer: When Militarism Meets Modernism." In Jason Oddy, Oscar Niemeyer in Algeria. New York: Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2019.

"Colonial Ramifications" E-Flux Architecture, History/Theory (October 31, 2018).

"Introduction: From Colonial Wars to Counterinsurgency." In gta papers 2: War Zones, ed. Samia Henni. Zurich: gta Verlag, 2018.

"Norms and Forms of Dispossession: The Politics of Naming" Pidgin 23, Princeton University School of Architecture Journal (February 2018): 16-29.

"Reflections on the Authority of Architecture, Or a Brief and Unfinished Cartography of Disciplinary Spaces." In Kapwani Kiwanga: Structural Adjustments eds. Yesomi Umolu, Gaetane Verna. Chicago: University of Chicago Press and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 2017, 77-79.

"From 'Indigenous' to 'Muslim:' On the French Colonial Assimilationist Doctrine." E-Flux Architecture (December 1, 2017).

"Toxic Imprints of Bleu, Blanc, Rouge: France's Nuclear Bombs in the Algerian Sahara." The Funambulist: Toxic Atmospheres, no. 14 (November-December 2017): 28-33.

"What the Hell Do They Mean When They Say 'Independence'?" written and read for Barby Asante, broadcasted at the Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Art Exhibition, Venice Biennial, 10 May-26 November 2017.

"Black Color and 'Negro Village:' Why Skin Color Still Matters in Architecture," Trans Magazin: Farbe, no. 30, Spring 2017: 158-161.

"On the Spaces of Guerre Moderne: The French Army in Northern Algeria (1954-1962)," Footprint: Spaces of Conflict, Delft Architecture Theory Journal, no. 19, Autumn 2016 edited by Malkit Shoshan and Marc Schoonderbeek: 37-57.