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Repertoire as Infrastructure for Architectural Historiographical Crafts in the Sahrawi Refugee Camps
Julien Lafontaine Carboni
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This article retraces a discussion with Gurba M. L., a Sahrawi activist who participated in building the refugee camp of Smara near Tindouf, Algeria, and Lahsen S. S. B, a Sahrawi researcher and collaborator in the Oral Memory Conservation project of the Ministry of Culture. Drawing on fieldwork and recent scholarship in performance studies and architectural history, it describes the repertoire as an infrastructure for historiographical crafts and alternative to the archives in transmitting and preserving gestures, movements and orality for the Sahrawi people. As performed ephemerally through distinct spatial practices in the domesticities of the camp, the repertoire constructs space and history outside of prevalent judiciary and nation-state paradigms that bias documentary evidence to legitimize claims to space and land. Gurba’s performance of nomadic spatial practices illuminates broader Sahrawi resistance efforts seeking to realize epistemic and reparative justice, maintaining the futurities preempted by war and colonialism, while conflict is ongoing, refugees displaced, and Western Sahara’s plentiful deserts plundered.

Read the full article at Taylor & Francis.