States of Emergency: A Spatial History of the French Colonial Continuum (Algeria, Kanaky, Banlieues)
Public lecture by Léopold Lambert
As France recently crystallized the main features of the state of emergency into common law, we ought to examine the history of this exceptional legislation. Drafted in 1955 to crush the Algerian Revolution, it was used three times during this eight-year-long decolonial struggle. Its three later occurrences (in Kanaky-New Caledonia in 1985; in thirty-eight French cities’ banlieues in 2005; and, more recently, in the totality of France and its so-called ‘overseas territories’ between 2015 and 2017) reveal the continuation of French coloniality nowadays in the violence it deploys on the same bodies. This talk will address the French states of emergency’s spatiality and architectures in order to demonstrate such a continuity. The talk draws from a forthcoming monograph with the same title, to be published in 2019.
Léopold Lambert is the editor-in-chief of The Funambulist (https://thefunambulist.net), a print+online magazine dedicated to the politics of space and bodies currently counting twenty issues. He is also a trained architect and the author of three books: Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Innocence (2012), Topie Impitoyable: The Corporeal Politics of the Cloth, the Wall, and the Street (2015), and La politique du bulldozer: La ruine palestinienne comme projet israelien (2016).
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