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Some Protocols for Beauty
Mustafa Faruki
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Saidiya Hartman, on beauty:

“[I]t is a way of creating possibility in the space of enclosure, a radical act of subsistence, an embrace of our terribleness, a transfiguration of the given.” 1

How should an architect respond to this? How do I—do we—address an outline that would give shape to beauty as an impulse against nonpossibility represented by enclosure, where this could be an easy and adroit euphemism for our general production (however it might appear in the world) writ large? Hartman’s fabulations of Philadelphia’s Seventh Ward or New York City’s Tenderloin relay inverse urban hagiographies, where the projection of “slum” as an architecture of limitation is punctured through by a “terrible beauty”…

“The beauty that resides in and animates the determination to live free.”

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