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Open Class 'Urban aspirations in Mozambique: Recalling the history of planning the peripheral' by Tiago Castela

November 23 (wednesday), 9.00 am, Room CCR1, Casa Cor de Rosa - FAUP

The second session of the Cycle of Open Classes – Urbanisation of Poverty: 'The social role of the architect' will have the theme ‘Urban aspirations in Mozambique: Recalling the history of planning the peripheral’ and will be presented by the historian and architect Tiago Castela (CES-UC).

This class will take place on the 23rd of November (wednesday), at 9.00 am, in the Room CCR1, at Casa Cor de Rosa (The Pink House) - FAUP.

This lecture shares some of the conclusions of the FCT exploratory research project “Urban Aspirations in Colonial/Postcolonial Mozambique: Governing the Unequal Division of Cities, 1945-2010”, undertaken at the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra in 2013 and 2014. The main objective of research was to support the writing of a history of late colonial urban planning, from 1945 to 1975. This history focused on how ‘peripheral’ space was conceived and managed in expert discourse, including in state plans for the future of the city, addressing the capital Maputo (former Lourenço Marques), Beira, and Quelimane. An ancillary objective was to understand the persistencies of colonial planning in postcolonial Mozambique.

In the first part, we will recall a history of the planning of the peripheral in late colonial Mozambique, from the end of the Second World War to political independence. We will discuss how a history of the situated formation of the idea of a peripheral space is crucial for an understanding of the provenance of present-day experiences of spatial violence amidst unequal urban division. This first part is based on archival research on the third quarter of the twentieth century in Lourenço Marques, Beira, Quelimane, and Johannesburg, as well as observations in Quelimane. We will also address the ways in which the formation of an idea of the peripheral was spatially extensive in the case of the Portuguese state planning apparatus, briefly evoking previous research on Lisbon’s coeval ‘clandestine’ neighborhoods.

In the second part, we will watch the short documentary film “Urban Aspirations” (21 minutes, in Portuguese with English subtitles), created in the frame of the FCT project. The film intends to present a perspective on the plurality of modes of urban life in present-day Maputo, through a montage of urban space-times interspersed with interviews on the memories and dreams of contemporary citizens.

This class will be presented in English. Free entrance (limited to the capacity of the room).
Programme subject to changes.

Tiago Castela (Lisbon, 1974) is an architectural and planning historian, as well as an architect. He teaches and does research on the history of the political dimension of architecture and urbanism, with a focus on southeastern Europe and southern Africa in the twentieth century. He holds a Licenciatura in Architecture from the Technical University of the Lisbon, and in 2011 he completed a PhD in Architecture (History of Architecture and Urbanism program) at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a permanent Research Associate at the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra since 2016, where he is a member of the research group on Cities, Cultures, and Architecture (CCArq).

This Open Classes cycle is coordinated by Professor Álvaro Domingues, the architect Ana Silva Fernandes and the MDT research group – 'Territory Morphologies and Dynamics' of CEAU-FAUP.

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Cycle of Open Classes - Urbanization of Poverty: 'The social role of the architect'

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