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Samia Henni: From Counterrevolution to Counterinsurgency

The Cooper Union
Event organized by The Cooper Union

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During the Algerian Revolution (1954–1962), French army officers tested a number of military strategies, theorized them, called them Modern Warfare, and exported them to North and South America. The talk discusses the genealogies and spatial ramifications of these practices and theories, as well as their dissemination in the USA during and after the Algerian Revolution. It scrutinizes the scholarship of French military officer David Galula at Harvard University in the 1960s and demystifies "The Battle of Algiers" and its screening at the Pentagon in 2003, a few months after the invasion of Iraq.

Samia Henni was born in Algiers, Algeria. She is an architect and an architectural historian and theorist who works at the intersection of architecture, planning, colonial practices, and military operations from the early 19th century up to the present day. Her book "Architecture of Counterrevolution: The French Army in Northern Algeria" (Zurich: gta Verlag, 2017) examines French colonial territorial transformations and spatial counterinsurgency measures in Algeria under colonial rule during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962). The book discusses the complicity of architecture and planning in strategies of offense, defense, control, and surveillance. Henni is the curator of the exhibition "Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French War in Algeria" at the gta Institute, ETH Zurich (Apr-Jun 2017); Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam (Sep 2017-Jan 2018); and Archive Kabinett in Berlin (Dec 2017-Jan 2018). She received her Ph.D. (with distinction, ETH Medal) in History and Theory of Architecture from the ETH Zurich. Currently, she teaches at Princeton University's School of Architecture.

This event is part of the Spring 2018 IDS Lecture Series at The Cooper Union, organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada.

Our lectures are free and open to the public. The next lecture, titled "Love before Bond", will be delivered on April 9th by Sung Hwan Kim.

For the full program, please visit http://ids.cooper.edu