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Léopold Lambert, Container camp in Calais, April 2016

A Spatial Investigation of the Transformation of Fortress Europe, and the Disposable Human


Thursday, March 30, 12:30 p.m.

The Hagop Kevorkian Center, 255 Sullivan Street

Merve Bedir, Land+Civilization Compositions, Delft University of Technology

In this lecture, Merve Bedir will discuss the political, philosophical, and cultural implications of the transformation of the politico-geographical borders of the EU, and Turkey becoming Fortress Europe. She will present a spatial investigation of migration and confinement in different contexts from Amman to Gaziantep, Istanbul, Maritsa, Lesbos and Calais, focusing on the last 6 years. Through criticism of the legal and ethical concept of hospitality, which in European philosophical and political theory indicates the acceptance of a stranger, one who does not belong to the national, religious, linguistic or cultural circle, Bedir will articulate on the relationships of 'hosts' and 'guests', the violence and colonization of language that are rendered visible in urban space, and the emergence of 'extraterritorial black holes' in the European continent. She also briefly touch up on a variety of local cases where initiatives by migrants and refugees attempt new forms of solidarity and representation, approaching the notion of hospitality from a different point of view.

Merve Bedir studied architecture at Middle East Technical University, Turkey (2003). She is a partner at the research and design office of Land+Civilization Compositions, and a PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology. Her recent work focuses on urban transformation, migration and forced displacement. She was a freelance curator for the Netherlands Architecture Institute (2013); curator of Vocabulary of Hospitality (Studio X Istanbul, 2015), uncommon river (One Architecture Week, Plovdiv, 2015), and Aformal Academy (Shenzhen Biennale, 2015). Merve Bedir produced Agoraphobia (2013), a documentary film on urban transformation in Turkey. Her work "(Market) Infrastructures of Mercy" took part in Misericordia (Oudekerk/ Amsterdam, 2016), "What is it that you want?" in Bucharest Biennale (2016), "Guesthouse" in Istanbul Design Biennale (2016), “Deconstructing the Threshold: Waste Lands I Trauma I Hospitality” in Oslo Triennale (2016), and "Architecture of Commons" in Future Architecture Platform (2016). Merve has published in Volume, MONU, Funambulist, Zivot, Quaderns among others and her first book, Vocabulary of Hospitality, will be published by Dpr Barcelona (2017). Merve is part of Matbakh-Mutfak (a transnational women collective in Gaziantep) and MAD (Collective for Spatial Justice) in Turkey.