Think Public Space HONOURABLE MENTION #1
Work title: War X Wall X Water
War X Wall X Water
Site / Refugee camp near river Tigris
Keywords / Middle East, War, Daily Life, Refugee Camp, Infrastructure, Wall
War is the most serious reason of causing the damage of both artificial and natural landscape in nowadays. It is the contention of petroleum, water and political power, death and flee became middle east people’s daily life.
I think, war is all about absence.
After the war, countless water resources were polluted by the petroleum, the sky was covered by massive black smoke from the burning oil fields. According to UN’s report, there’re 750 oil wells were burned, more than 1.5 million barrels of oil were poured into the Persian Gulf in inly one Gulf war.
With the march of troops, lands were tattered and duplicated by countless landmines continuously. It only costs 2$ to set up a landmine, but costs 1000$ to clear up one. There are more than 10 million of landmines only in Iraq. In high condensation area, there’s one man gets killed or loses his limbs every 20 minutes. People only can clear up 30 landmines a day, which means it needs more than 900 years to clear up all the landmines in Iraq.
within both the horizontal and vertical analysis’, there’re three different layers emerged because of the war, including the heavy smoke, potential landmine zone, and petroleum floating on the water. These enormous / tiny layers break the connection between human and nature, block the sun light, cause animals and plants die and the temperature become lower then usual, the living environment was also separated because of the landmine.
The absence caused by war is not only appears physically, but also mentally to those refugees.
In order to escape from wars, most of the refugees, without distinction of sex and age, can only fled with the necessity on their back, their children in their arms, walked tens or even hundreds of kilometers to the refugee camps.
“Repeatedly” and “consistency” are the normality of refugee camp. It abruptly shows up on the land, has no context to refugees’ original living space. I think living in refugee camp is an acute lost of the sense of distance and space which are established between coordinates. This kind of break leads to the absence of “daily life”.
What the refugees need is very simple, they just want to have their original daily life.
The site I chose is a linear area near river Tigris in Iraq, which including water resource, refinery, potential landmine area and a refugee camp.
Refugees only can live in the tent which is 3X4 square meter, they don’t have either enough / proper water resource and foods, or heating system in winter. Lots of refugees suffer or even die during the freezing winter. The public facilities in camp are dispersive and insufficient, refugees don’t have public social space, they don’t have either work or revenue income. These immutable and frozen scene weaken the refugees’ sense of their coordinates.
The sarcastic thing is that petroleum is one of the most important resources that establish the middle east, or even the world, but what it represents, the wealth and the power have contrasted strongly with most of the people’s life in middle east. So I started to intervene this camp, trying to reconnect these absence and breaks.
I bring the waste hot water from refinery into refugee camp through the pipeline, within the airdrop package I designed, refugees can easily build up the simple heating system by themselves. At the same time I build up a rammed earth wall, trying to establish a reference point in camp. The wall will be built up by all refugees, and its material are collected from the waste soil in camp and the pallet from supplement cargos.
The airdrop package I designed includes several materials that can absorb landing shock, a water intervener which has three different functions, materials for refugees to build up the heating system and other package materials can be used as solar balloon and honeycomb furniture.
What I am trying to do is to establish the daily life in refugee camp in post-war period through those designs.
Refugees will go back to their hometown eventually, but wars are not predictable. All the temporary shelters will be removed after refugees leave, but the infrastructures I set up will stay underground. People can easily build up a proper refugee camp in the future when there’re other wars happen.
The rammed earth wall will gradually collapse, within three different stage, and leave nothing at the end.