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A Road to Home: Following the concrete

You are on your way to a new hope; a concrete wall has set a barrier in front of you.”

Today, it appears everywhere in cities, roads and fields. You wake up one morning; you can’t get into your house because of a concrete block. You are on your way to a new hope; a concrete wall has set a barrier in front of you.

Research material. Photo: Yelta Köm

Concrete blocks are similar to every other product; the companies regulate the introduction of these blocks to the market with certain marketing words. For example, one says, in response to how a concrete block wall is produced: “For whatever purpose, concrete block walls must be placed on a solid concrete ground.” What solid ground is it possible to talk about? Is it solid ground on which all living things have disappeared? Or are the floors that hold, hide, and cover the past solid?

These walls rising on our borders are also building new borders within cities. Although this building block of security and surveillance architecture changes form and height from time to time, it retains itself as an archetype. What this archetype evokes is loss, destruction, and fear.

The dominant architectural narrative, built on these building blocks, has permeated its daily practice. It includes displacement, inability to return, and forced departure from home. Where destruction is occurring in the neighbourhoods, it brings a process of destruction and deterritorialisation.

Research material. Photo: Arazi Assembly

A road to home: Following the concrete is part of Urgent Pedagogies Issue#7: Entangled Topographies

Yelta Köm

is a Berlin based artist who brings together architectural, artistic, and spatial practices to discuss social and political issues. His work is centred around landforms, technology, critical approaches to environment and communities, urban surveillance methodologies, data mapping systems, architectural technologies, oral and cinematographic storytelling, and the questioning of representation techniques. He is a co-founder of Herkes İçin Mimarlık (Architecture for All), a non-profit organisation devoted to offering approaches to social problems in Turkey from an architectural perspective. Yelta Köm is currently working as a research associate and teaching at the Practices and Politics of Representation chair of Bauhaus Universität Weimar Faculty of Architecture.

Merve Gül Özokcu

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