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    “Compartmentalized world”: Race, architecture, and colonial crisis in Kenya and London

    Crinson, Mark (2020) “Compartmentalized world”: Race, architecture, and colonial crisis in Kenya and London. In: Cheng, I. and Davis II, C.L. and Wilson, M.O. (eds.) Race and Modern Architecture. Pittsburgh, U.S.: Pittsburgh University Press, pp. 259-276. ISBN 9780822966593.

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    Abstract

    Frantz Fanon’s idea of colonialism as a ‘compartmentalized world’ provides a starting point for examining the separations but also the entanglements of the building world in Kenya at a time of colonial crisis. Fanon’s thinking was directly drawn to the claims made by ethno-psychiatry, which was instrumental in understanding Mau Mau revolt as symptomatic of the spatial dislocations and instabilities caused by modernity. Ethno-psychiatry would seem to be a footnote in the study of discredited sciences and of no interest to architectural history, were it not for its influence on policies of ‘villagisation’ drawing upon ideas of the pastoral and the vernacular. This paper argues that this coercive means of population control cannot be isolated or compartmentalized from ‘architecture’, but that through discourses on race it is connected to many other facets of the production of space in colonialism: from the ‘high’ architecture of the state, through to ideal planning schemes, and modernist housing, both in Kenya and in London.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    School: School of Arts > History of Art
    Research Centres and Institutes: Architecture, Space and Society, Centre for
    Depositing User: Mark Crinson
    Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 13:23
    Last Modified: 12 Feb 2021 14:20
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/20344

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