Archives For biopolitics

Author Information: Diana Rishani, American University of Beirut,

Rishani, Diana. “Living Architecture in Dead Spaces: ‘Why Haven’t You Stopped Dying?'”[1] Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 4 (2015): 14-18.

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Image credit: Diana Rishani

The body is not a neutral place. Its politicization extends into both realms of the living of the dead. Dead bodies have been conceptualized in such a way that a form of politics has been created around them. And since these dead bodies themselves have been politicized, the space they occupy is then dictated by their biopolitics. The architecture that rises above burials, mass graves, and sites of massacres is then a contested site such that whatever physical structure formed is politically charged. Dead bodies then have the power to reconfigure space and to an extent affect urban planning (Verdery 1999, 109). This article will attempt to draw the biopolitical features of dead bodies as well as construct relationships between them, architecture, and the living. In order to do that, dead bodies must then be understood in Foucauldian terms: the dead body is a space in which the bios (the political citizen) is collapsed with the zoe (bare life). The article will then outline how dead bodies affect the architectural physicality of the living, especially in terms of urban development and planning.  Continue Reading…