Architecture of Counterrevolution
The French Army in Northern Algeria

Samia Henni
Architecture of Counterrevolution
The French Army in Northern Algeria

2017. 16,5 x 24,5 cm, softcover
336 pages, 73 illustrations b/w
ISBN 978-3-85676-376-3
48.00 CHF / 48.00 EUR


Designed by Philippe Mouthon

The book examines the intersection of French colonial policies and military counterinsurgency operations in architecture in Algeria during the Algerian Revolution (1954–1962). In the course of this bloody and protracted armed conflict, the French civil and military authorities profoundly reorganized the country’s vast urban and rural territory, drastically transformed its built environments, rapidly implanted new infrastructures, and strategically constructed new settlements in order to keep Algeria under French rule. The colonial regime planned and undertook not only tactical demolition programs but also developed new structures in order to facilitate the strict control of the Algerian population and the protection of the European communities of Algeria.

Samia Henni’s study focuses on the politics of three interrelated spatial counterrevolutionary measures: the massive forced resettlement of Algerian farmers; the mass-housing programs designed for the Algerian population as part of General Charles de Gaulle’s Plan de Constantine; and the fortified administrative new town planned for the protection of the French authorities during the last months of the Algerian Revolution. The aim is to depict the modus operandi of these settlements, their roots, developments, scopes, and impacts, as well as the actors, protocols, and design mechanisms behind them.

Samia Henni was born in Algiers, Algeria. She is an architect and an architectural historian and theorist who works at the intersection of architecture, planning, colonial practices, and military operations from the early nineteenth century up to the present. She received her Ph.D. in History and Theory of Architecture from the ETH Zurich (with distinction, ETH Medal). Henni is currently Assistant Professor of History of Architecture and Urban Development am College of Architecture, Art, and Planning an der Cornell University.

At International Art Book and Film Festival (FILAF) 2018, the publication won the art book competition in the category art theory and was also awarded the Silver FILAF Prize for books.



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