The Life Cycle of the Libyan Coastal Highway: Italian Colonialism, Coloniality, and the Future of Reparative Justice in the Mediterranean
This paper explores the role of the Libyan Coastal Highway across history: originally built by fascist Italy during colonisation, in the postcolonial era Libya demanded Italy commit to the construction of a new motorway as part of the reparation process for its crimes. Only in 2008 was an agreement reached. Through it, Italy used the promise to build a new road as a bargaining‐chip to secure Qaddafi’s cooperation in containing migrant mobility across the Mediterranean. This paper explores the different ways in which the Libyan road has endured as a space and a tool of power by tracing historical and political continuities across time, from colonisation to demands for postcolonial reparations and migration governance. Drawing inspiration from the notion of “coloniality”, the paper investigates the colonial continuum expressed by the Italian/Libyan reparation process, and seeks to posit alternative pathways towards the unresolved question of postcolonial justice around the Mediterranean.
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The Afterlife of Fascist Colonial Architecture: A Critical Manifesto
The listing of the capital of Eritrea Asmara as #UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017 has raised a series of contradictory questions around Italian fascist colonial heritage: is the nomination part of the longer path of Eritrea’s decolonization and reappropriation of its colonial history or does this lead to the celebration of modernist architecture and its entanglements with colonialism and fascism? This essay draws inspiration from the case of #Asmara, as a way to stir a debate around the afterlife of colonial fascist architecture, and its critical reuse. By discussing the interrelated concepts of repair, reparations, and prothesis within the debates in heritage studies and to the practices of architectural preservation, this essay claims a space for architectural heritage in the entangled struggles of decolonization and de-fascistization. Moreover, it reads fascism’s architectural heritage—and its histories of dispossession and violence—as part of modernism’s controversial history of segregation that cut across the southern and northern hemispheres. In so doing this essay introduces the concept of de-modernization into the debate around critical architectural preservation as part of a transnational struggle for justice against old and new forms of fascisms and colonialisms.