• Difficult Heritage – Summer School, 2021

    For an impression of the summer school on Difficult Heritage of Fascist architecture in Sicily see:
    – YouTube

    The summerschool is offered again in 2022. Please see a description below:

    “In collaboration with DAAS - Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Studies at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, the Critical Urbanisms program at the University of Basel is organizing the Decolonial Summer School on Difficult Heritage. The summer school aims at enlarging the analysis and investigation of colonial urban and architectural heritage. What kind of heritage really is colonial urban and architectural heritage? What should be done with this troublesome heritage? Is there a possibility for its re-use and for critical preservation without falling into the celebration of colonial ideologies? Who has the right to reuse and reclaim this heritage?

    The summer school will address these questions exploring and experimenting decolonial approaches in the debates on urban heritage, embracing non Euro-centric epistemologies and methodologies of inquiry and investigation. The summer school takes place in Borgo Rizza, in the province of Siracusa, Sicily, Italy.

    Borgo Rizza is one of a series of rural settlements that have been built in Sicily between 1939-43. Following Mussolini’s experiment of settler colonialism in Libya, these villages had been built as part of fascism’s plan of “internal colonisation” of the South of Italy, which was considered by the fascist regime as “underdeveloped” and in need of “modernisation”. In the aftermath of WWII, Borgo Rizza, as well as the other villages, has been subsequently abandoned and left empty until this very day.

    In the “difficult” setting of the fascist colonial architecture of Borgo Rizza, the summer school offers students the possibility to develop independent projects and experiment practices of “re-use” by examining critically the ideas of modernity, progress, and development in relation to Europe’s imperial histories and legacies.

    By joining the course, students will share the experience with a selected number of students from the DAAS course in Stockholm. The summer school is organized around a series of seminars, excursions, collaborative work with local communities and political activists, public events featuring the participation of international guests from the academia and the contemporary art world. During the duration of the school, the students will develop their individual projects, under the supervision of Dr Emilio Distretti, Urban Studies, Department of Social Sciences.”

    #Sicily #Italy #fascisme #architecture #décolonial