Exhibition BK Africa: A Laboratory of the Future? on show in Venice
BK Africa: A Laboratory of the Future? opens at Palazzo Mora at the European Cultural Centre in Venice, 18 May, 2023.
With the BK Africa: A laboratory of the future? exhibition hosted Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft as a precursor, the exhibition in Venice brings together a selection of recent projects, research, and other initiatives that address the rapid transformation of the African continent. The work was developed by students, faculty, and partners in Africa of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.
BK Africa aims to include as many approaches as possible beyond popular design discourse and to veer away from common representations of Africa as a homogenous space afflicted by deprivation, conflict, drought, and famine of similar amplitudes, almost as if it were a singular country. On the contrary, the exhibition’s aspiration is to highlight an often-forgotten reality: that Africa is a vast continent—a complex collection of diverse biomes, territories, cultures, societies, and built environments.
The first exhibition displayed in Delft was divided into five parts: New Cartographies, Restoring Communities, Forensic Renewal and Old “New Towns”, and New “New Towns”. Various supports, such as physical models, photographs, films, or written manifestos, unfold alternative cartographies and new narratives on the memories, history, stories, resources, and landscapes of some of Africa’s 54 nations.
The selection of works ranges from revealing the hidden or neglected memory of places to revising the colonial implications of Modernism, proposing affordable and inclusive housing solutions in the midst of urgency, envisaging urban accommodation for the fastest-growing continent on earth, including participatory processes, renewing existing city fabrics forensically, pursuing community-making in rural and urban areas, addressing the climate catastrophe using landscape as infrastructure, or acknowledging the sheer environmental, social, political, and cultural implications of immense new infrastructures and settlements as fundamentally flawed urbanistic propositions.
BK Africa is an invitation to deviate from the presupposed validities of Western neoliberal models of settlement as the requisite points of departure for the imagination and production of new urban forms and patterns of daily life.
- The exhibition BK Africa; A Laboratory of the Future? Will be on show in the Palazzo Mora at the European Cultural Centre in Venice from 18 May until 20 November.