Statement from Architect Sumayya Vally
albalad al’umi (Arabic – “homeland” literally – “land of the mother”)
Sumayya Vally, Counterspace
On Constructing Belonging
Architectures are intimate, incriminate and implicated – always drawing together a constellation of interests around the construction of home and belonging – across territory and geography – looking at how people make a city a place to be held – through ritual, gatherings, in spaces, in the cracks of the urban environment – at various scales, from the scale of the body to the scale of the cosmos.
The land of a place is generative. My hopes the for the future of architectures of home is for architects to listen deeply to the intrinsic connections to the histories, ancestries, traditions, politics, visions and rituals of place.
That we listen to the ingredients and the embodied knowledges that places carry in them for creating home.
Rather than a superficial engagement with the ‘landscape’ alone, my hope is that our notions of home will expand and engage land through much deeper understandings of land and its micro and macro scales of interconnectedness through deep time, histories and consequential futures.
That we will move beyond forms of only projecting abstractions into forms that have listened and absorbed place.
Fragments of data – hard and soft – trace the shifting of species, geographies and practices. A periodic table of land and sea – excavating and underlining potential histories, potential futures.
Active leftovers, quiet histories, silent sovereignties, gradated empires, „new“ categorisations, ecological shifts, carceral atlases of colony, politics and resistance.
The deep fault lines of control and moments of insurgence.
The world is filled with stories and ways of being and belonging and ‘home’ that architectures have erased, silenced, excluded and edited. But architecture is also a force for the opposite – for constructing and solidifying and evolving belonging and home. My hope for the future of architectures of home is that they truly become what homes need to be – forms of expression for the plural, complex, hyphenated, contradictory, contrasting, hybrid identities of difference that we embody in our beings, histories and futures.