From Counterrevolution to Counterinsurgency

Monday, April 2, 2018, 7 - 8:30pm

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Samia Henni. Photo courtesy of Samia Henni

Samia Henni. Photo courtesy of Samia Henni

Samia Henni, architect, architectural historian, and theorist presents a free public presentation as part of the Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada.

During the Algerian Revolution (1954–1962), French army officers tested a number of military strategies, theorized them, called them Modern Warfare, and exported them to North and South America. The talk discusses the genealogies and spatial ramifications of these practices and theories, as well as their dissemination in the USA during and after the Algerian Revolution. It scrutinizes the scholarship of French military officer David Galula at Harvard University in the 1960s and demystifies The Battle of Algiers and its screening at the Pentagon in 2003, a few months after the invasion of Iraq. 

Samia Henni was born in Algiers, Algeria. She works at the intersection of architecture, planning, colonial practices, and military operations from the early 19th century up to the present day. Her book Architecture of Counterrevolution: The French Army in Northern Algeria (Zurich: gta Verlag, 2017) examines French colonial territorial transformations and spatial counterinsurgency measures in Algeria under colonial rule during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962). The book discusses the complicity of architecture and planning in strategies of offense, defense, control, and surveillance. Henni is the curator of the exhibition "Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French War in Algeria" at the gta Institute, ETH Zurich (Apr-Jun 2017); Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam (Sep 2017-Jan 2018); and Archive Kabinett in Berlin (Dec 2017-Jan 2018). She received her Ph.D. (with distinction, ETH Medal) in History and Theory of Architecture from the ETH Zurich. Currently, she teaches at Princeton University's School of Architecture.

The IDS Public Lecture Series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding and support from the Robert Lehman Foundation for the series. The IDS Public Lecture Series is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

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