Book Launch
Unearthing Traces: Dismantling imperialist entanglements of archives, landscapes, and the built environment

Organizer: Denise Bertschi, Julien Lafontaine Carboni, Nitin Bathla
Date: Saturday, 27 May 2023
Time: 12.00 to 13.30
Location: Online Zoom - EPFL Press

This book builds upon the instigations and openings from the Unearthing Traces conference and workshop to dismantle the “neutrality” and past silences of archives by engaging with and expanding on the field of critical archival studies1 in the context of architecture, landscape, and urban studies. The contributions in this book explore a diverse range of topics that not only challenge the objectivity surrounding current archival practices and archival institutions, but also question the archive itself—what they are comprised of and what kind of work they can perform in an increasingly uncertain and fragmented planet. The contributors of this book collectively perform a kind of “epistemic disobedience” 2 by unearthing the traces of power, toxicity, and violence produced by archival practices. Several of the contributors in this volume propose counter methods for archiving, whereas others focus on “landscape and urban space as a material witness”3 while dwelling upon absences, silences, and erasures of history and memory. The book concludes with potential openings towards the future of the archive and speculation on what decolonial perspectives could look like for architecture,landscape, and urban practice.