UN peace missions operate today inside hundreds of cities across the world. Planned and engineered with the logic of security regimes, using single-purpose infrastructure, and dependent on extractive global supply chains, these ‘Islands of Blue’ generate a massive carbon footprint, profoundly impact local livelihoods, and leave mostly waste after decommissioning. Focusing on two missions and four cities in Liberia and Mali, BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions charts and uncovers spatial realities produced by the UN in mission areas. It traces the complex processes and mechanisms behind the conduct of missions and the various spatial tools and architectural technologies that make them possible. BLUE questions the international, spatial, and cultural structures we put in place to support communities across the world in times of crisis.
At the intersection of architecture, urban planning, international relations and activism, BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions seeks not only to change UN missions but also to open up and expand the operative realm of architecture. It combines research and projects involving policymakers, military engineers and officers, anthropologists, local inhabitants, activists, rebels, diplomats and ministers, architects and planners. BLUE offers examples of how entrenched institutional bureaucracies can be confronted by using more inclusive models of engagement, and it shows how designs rooted in local cultures and empowerment can address a history of violence.
The book is part of FAST’s ongoing activism, research, design, and advocacy work. It builds on earlier presentations, including the exhibition BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions for the Dutch Pavilion of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale.
BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions
Author: Malkit Shoshan
Interviews with Moussa Ag Assarid (MNLA: The Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) and Rob de Vos (The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Additional Essays and Poems: Arnon Grunberg, Debra Solomon, Erella Grassiani, Joel van der Beek, Marcel Rot, Marion de Vos, Tinariwen
Book Design: Irma Boom and Julia Neller
Illustrations, Maps, and Diagrams: Malkit Shoshan with Isabel Carrasco (UNMIL section), Laura van Santen (MINUSMA imageries), and Julia Neller
Models Design: Malkit Shoshan
Models Production: Rob Gijsbers, Studio Roel Huisman
Copy-Editing: Angela Kay Bunning
Size: 17 x 24 cm/ 6,7 x 9,5 in.
Publication date: September 2022
Published by: Actar Publishers
ISBN: English 9781948765824
Price: 40€/ $47/ £40
This book is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Netherlands Creative Industries Fund.