Register: DEC/06/2017, Submit: DEC/06/2017, Eligibility: Architects, architecture students, philosophers, sociologists, photographers, etc; individually, teams up to 4 members, Fee: 40 EUR + VAT (AUG/21 – SEP/27/2017), 60 EUR + VAT (SEP/28 – NOV/01/2017), 80 EUR + VAT (NOV/02 – DEC/06/2017); VAT 21%, Awards: 1st Prize 4,000 EUR, 2nd Prize 1,000 EUR, 3rd Prize 500 EUR, People’s Choice Award 200 EUR, 10 Honorable Mentions
Since the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), the world has witnessed some of the worst examples of barbarism and cruelty in recent history. Massacres of entire populations and mass escape of refugees have to be added to the deliberate destruction of much of the historical and cultural heritage of the earliest civilizations. However, the real catastrophe that is shocking the world is the human drama experienced by hundreds of thousands of people escaping from the continuing attacks on cities in Iraq and Syria and the destruction of their homes.
For that reason, in the contest Mosul Postwar Camp Archstorming proposes to respond from architecture to all the pain suffered by the population of Mosul (Iraq), one of the most punished cities by the conflict against ISIS, recently released by the Iraqi army.
Architecture has found a strange and unexpected enemy in ISIS, which has destroyed and looted countless religious buildings, monuments, archaeological sites and works of art from different cultures and religions, most of them considered World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
To justify this “cultural cleansing” the ISIS exposes primarily religious motives. However, he has also used plunder for economic purposes, to finance his campaigns by looting and selling the historic patrimony. In addition, through the destruction of these treasures they have achieved a wide media impact worldwide that reinforces their propaganda goals.
Among the victims of ISIS are the cities of Bosra, Mari and Aleppo, or the Roman ruins of Palmyra, all in Syria; The museums and libraries of Mosul, the Roman ruins of Hatra, Apamea and Dura-Europos, as well as the Assyrian cities Nimrud, Nínove and Khorsabad, located in Iraq.
Unfortunately, the destruction of architectural remains of previous cultures and symbols of different religions is not exclusive to ISIS. Many civilizations throughout history have carried out similar attacks against the cultural and religious identity of peoples to establish their own foundations, though never in such a massive and systematic way.
THE HUMAN DRAMA
The continued fighting in Mosul (Iraq’s second largest city) since ISIS chose its Al-Nuri Grand Mosque to declare the Islamic Caliphate in 2014 has led to many of its inhabitants to leave their homes in search of more secure places. This dramatic situation has been greatly aggravated by the fighting that the Iraqi army has waged in recent months to wrest control of the city from the ISIS.
Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them children according to UNICEF, have sought protection in refugee camps such as Dibaga, constructed by UN humanitarian agencies and Iraqi authorities. Many of them have crossed the Syrian border in a desperate last attempt to run away from bombs back home.
But, once the noise of bombings and explosions has ceased in Mosul, life is beginning to sprout again in its streets and neighborhoods with the return of thousands of former inhabitants who are becoming refugees in their own city. Now it is time to think about their future away from the war that has dominated their lives in recent years as the rubble disappears and the city gradually regains its normality.
For this reason, Archstorming has chosen Mosul to place its new project in an attempt to propose solutions that mitigate and alleviate the suffering of its population.
Archstorming is looking for proposals to create an infrastructure that provisionally shelters all the refugees who wish to return to Mosul while their homes are rebuilt and the city regains its living conditions. The project is located on the banks of the Tigris River. Participants will be able to choose the specific location of their project, always taking into account that it must be located within marked the area.
This project must be much more than a temporary arrival space, it must be conceived as a solution to heal the wounds of this terrible conflict, a meeting point of families separated by war, an opportunity to forget the suffering and return to their old lives. To sum up, it is about designing a space that allows the emergence of a new society that defends peaceful coexistence, learn from the mistakes of the past and banish intolerance and hatred.
The infrastructure is considered as a temporary solution that seeks to receive refugees in a humanitarian emergency and return them as citizens integrated into society.
To achieve this, there will be two different areas. The first, named Urgent Humanitarian Aid, is thought for receiving and caring the newly arrived returnees. It should include spaces for family registration and reunification, basic emergency health and vaccination assistance, a psychological care area, massive housing infrastructures, storage areas and distribution of humanitarian aid (mattresses, mats, food kits, etc.), collective canteens, as well as places for religious worship and spaces reserved for leisure and sports.
The second area, called City Reintegration Zone, aims to reintegrate refugees into society after years of uprooting and will seek to secure a future for families, once they meet their most urgent basic needs in the first area. It should be provided with individual housing for each family unit, area for the education of minors and for the professional training of adults, primary care medical center, public spaces for coexistence, places for religious worship, green areas, a market where new citizens can work and start up their businesses, as well as citizen service offices to receive their demands and suggestions.
The provision of services and facilities that we propose for the two areas is orientative and is open to any modification by the participants.