(EN) Colonial Infrastructures – lecture by Johan Lagae
LECTURE | 10 November 2016, 19:30 | La Loge, rue de l’Ermitage 86, 1050 Brussels
Colonial Infrastructures. Notes on Politics, Building and Bureaucracy in the Former Belgian Congo.
In the last three decades, colonial and postcolonial architecture in Africa has become a major topic of interest in architectural history. Since the introduction of insights of postcolonial theory in architectural historiography in the early 1990s, scholars have engaged in investigations of how urban form and built environment in colonial territories are linked to the particular politics and policies of colonialism. So far, however, most attention has gone to those sites and projects that stand out as remarkable architecture, to the extent that the argument of the colonies being a “laboratory for modern architecture” has become a major trope in scholarship. In this lecture, Lagae will argue that even if fascinating architectural projects have been designed for and built in Congo, both during colonial times and after independence, much is to be gained by focusing on the more mundane built environment, and by taking seriously the production and métier of the often anonymous and bureaucratic architects employed by the colonial administration.Johan Lagae is Full Professor at Ghent University, where he teaches 20th Century Architectural History with a focus on the non-European context. He holds a PhD on colonial architecture in the former Belgian Congo and has published widely on the topic, as well as on modern architecture, colonial built legacy and urban history in Central Africa, and on colonial photography.
About the speaker
Johan Lagae is Full Professor at Ghent University, where he teaches 20th Century Architectural History with a focus on the non-European context. In 2007, he was a chercheur invité at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris. He holds a PhD on colonial architecture in the former Belgian Congo and has published widely on the topic, as well as on modern architecture, colonial built legacy and urban history in Central Africa, and on colonial photography. He furthermore (co-)curated several Congo-related exhibitions, such as Le mémoire du Congo. Le temps colonial (2005), Congo. Paysages urbains. Regards croisés (2007) and Congo belge en images (2010). From 2010 till 2014 he co-chaired a European research group devoted to the theme “European Architecture beyond Europe” (COST-action IS0904) and is on the editorial board of the open access ABE-Journal.
Lecture starts at 7.30 pm
No reservation necessary but capacity is limited.
Conference language: English
venue: La Loge
This public lecture is the concluding event of ‘Tracing Colonial Infrastructures: site visit, worskhop and public lecture’, a study day organised by La Loge on 10 November 2016 as part of Sven Augustijnen’s exhibtion.