Joana Rafael is an architect, researcher and lecturer. Her work focuses on (issues of) ecology, human geography and natural sciences, encompassing contemporary culture, media studies, art and technology. She combines architecture as a discipline of thought and design practice, reflecting on the boundaries of buildings, infrastructures and (radiological-)contaminated territories. Engages in speculative thinking and writing to develop a critical distance from anthropocentric understandings and attend to reciprocal relationships between humans and nature. Joana teaches Contextual Studies and Contemporary Culture-related courses. She is a member of CEGOT (Center for Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning) and CEAA (Centro de Estudos Arnaldo Araújo). Joana is a cofounder of REFINERY BOARD.
Building Risk Reserves
Toward a Theory of de Facto and Fictional Conservation(ist) Regimes Masterclass
+ ATLAS - Mapping the Nuclear Grave and Remediation-Related Campaigns
Presented in Escuelita, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Madrid, Spain
This masterclass 1. problematises the construction of the planet through the logic of the reserve; 2. attempts to construct a theoretical framework necessary to address the way of managing and organising (things in) space exposing architecture and the reserve fragile limits and, ultimately, cementing them as fictions; and 3. calls for new methodological approaches.
Reserve arrangements intended to act as architectural solutions; agents or safeguards for the future and safety of (human) life on the planet, contrarily to what they are set out to do, have created a unique geography of problematic and open, rather than closed and controlled spaces. In recent years, interest in these spaces has made visible the vulnerability of our general laws of action upon the planet and in relation to the future. This interest is increasingly related to the fact that many extant reserve arrangements have resulted in the production of unwelcome situations. However, and most ironically, it increasingly relates to the fact that many of these very arrangements are nonetheless still presented as solutions to offer environmental and ecological security and safety.
In this paper, I will explore how these reserve arrangements are informed by: 1. present/real dangers; 2. (inspired by campaigns) destined to cope with our fears and hopes and to guarantee a future free from risk; and 3. mobilized as means to impose limits with limits of its own. To do so, I will describe forms of housekeeping that extend to the whole planet, and that are helpful to understand the struggle for security undertaken via reserve arrangements.