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Other Spatial Futures: Lived Experience and Caribbean Spaces


Other Spatial Futures: Lived Experience and Caribbean Spaces is a design project developed in collaboration with architect and architectural historian Iulia Statica, and artist Mario Lewis for the collective exhibition Reclaiming the Center: The Architectures of Global Africa curated by Livingstone Mukasa.

In discussing Frantz Fanon’s description of the care and anxiety tied to acts of hospitality in “daily life in the douars” —small North African villages—Homi Bhabha makes the comparative observation that “the psychiatric patient, like the foreign brother, cannot prevent generating an affective and spatial anxiety around himself” (Bhabha 2022). This project explores, at the intersection of architecture and film, the significance of descriptive attention to affective and spatial conditions for approaching the study of Caribbean space. It is well-established that Fanon’s thought—his approach to psychiatric practice and theoretical analyses of colonialism and decolonization—has deep roots in a phenomenological tradition that employs descriptive methods. Drawing on the insights of this critical tradition, the project explores phenomenological, ethnographic, and narrative descriptive methods for foregrounding other spatial futures—historical horizons imagined as possible futures and futures past—those whose architectural manifestations are based on the temporalities of lived experience, from spaces of domesticity to landscapes of extractive labour and migration. Such spatial futures are inherently environmental, insofar as an interest in the lived experiences of others is necessarily, as Judith Butler emphasizes, a concern for “all those environmental conditions that make life livable” (Butler 2012). With a focus on the spaces of the Caribbean, the project asks: What other possible architectural and environmental futures emerge through careful descriptive attention to the spatiality of lived experience—its embodied and affective nature, as well as its sociality and historicity?

The project draws on the interior domestic qualities characteristic of timber house construction in villages in the Caribbean, specifically in Guyana, in creating a space for viewing experimental video and sound installations. The videos draw on observational and documentary film, archival visual material, and environmental sound recordings—including forest, coastal, riverine, and (post)industrial landscapes—to immerse visitors perceptually and imaginatively in the lived experiential horizons of Caribbean environments, which range from the intimacy of domestic spaces to the expanses of landscapes, seascapes, continental—in the case of the Guianas—and archipelagic atmospheres.

black and white photo of home interior
Atmospheric image of drainage canal
Black and white image of home interior

Tao DuFour

Iulia Statica

Mario Lewis

Research Assistant

Gracie Meek

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