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Entrada seta Actividades seta 2014-2011 seta "House and Dwelling in the Flows of Migration" - Mirjana Lozanovska

"House and Dwelling in the Flows of Migration" - Mirjana Lozanovska

22 de Junho, 11:00
Local: Sala D. Pedro V, FLUL
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Dr. Mirjana Lozanovska, Deakin University


Stories of the relation between the migrant and their house, collected in field-work carried out in Melbourne, Australia and Zavoj, a village in the Republic of Macedonia (1988-2010), make evident that the house is central in the migrant struggle to locate a place of belonging, and a place for agency and human dignity. But this focus has two sides. The construction and maintenance of the house creates a psychic landscape of migration; and yet, endless building of the house, gives rise to a question about the nature of dwelling and the meaning of home. The house as constructed and material entity is interwoven with processes of dwelling and practices of home, and yet, its ongoing rebuilding and unfinished state, can produce a condition that becomes the inverse of settlement and being at home.

Such a perspective produces an uncoupling of the house and the home - while the house symbolises stability, indeed status, success, and integration, - the question of the house as home is unsettled.  In the new millennium, the village, Zavoj is blooming with new house constructions that are being built by the generation of people who have emigrated from the village. Increasing numbers of new houses, that are often under construction for a long time, sometimes years, contribute to a visible transformation of the village. The village is also not the same kind of place and home. These are second homes/weekend houses, but that typology is ambivalent, as many of the households live only a short distance from the village on the fringes of the nearest town Ohrid. This work explores the nature of dwelling when the house, symbolic of migrant settlement and symptomatic of the struggle to belong, turns into a process of ongoing and serial building of more houses.

The method of research has specifically developed an ‘archi-textual framework’ where the tools of architecture (maps, plans, sections, elevations, sketches and/or photographs) (Bourdieu P. 1973; Berger, J. 1972) are set against the stories, the narratives, and spatial practices of inhabitants and migrants (de Certeau 1984). In addition, by developing a ‘toolkit of the theorist’, which are like enclaves of language, especially from psychoanalytic theories of the human subject and culture, the paper tries to give an account of the migrant house(s), and how this can allude to the universal problematic of housing in a globalised world.

Biographical note:

Dr. Mirjana Lozanovska is an architect and academic who investigates the ways that architecture mediates human dignity and identity through multidisciplinary theories of space. Two areas of research have developed: the first is migration andarchitecture that considers national identity, aesthetics, cultural heritage; and includes analysis of the village (of emigration) and the city (of immigration). The second is on war and destruction/reconstruction, contributing to theories about loss, mourning and memory. She has published widely on questions of migration and sexuality in architecture, deploying contemporary cultural and psychoanalytic theories. She is the author of “Abjection and Architecture: The Migrant House in Multicultural Australia, ‘ in Post Colonial Spaces, [(eds) G. Nalbantoglu & W. C. Thai, Princeton University Press, 1997]; “Emigration/Immigration: Maps, Myths Origins,’ in Drifting: Migrancy and the Limits to Architecture, [(ed) S. Cairns, Routledge, 2004]; ‘Sacred Time after Emigration: A study of the Holy Mother Festival in Zavoj, Macedonia', in Every day’s a festival! Diversity on Show, [Küchler, S., Kürti, L., and Elkadi, H. (eds), Sean Kingston Publishing, Wantage, UK., 2011] . She has also published widely on war and the reconstruction of the city, a study that began during her appointment at the American University of Beirut. Mirjana Lozanovska is a Senior Lecturer teaching research, history and design. She leads the Cultural Ecology Research at the School of Architecture and Building, Deakin University.

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