Friday, March 21, 2008

a novel way to evict thousands

Just suspend the law. That's what the government of Chad did earlier this month. The edict of extraordinary powers meant that authorities in N'djamena, the country's capital, had no obligation to honor due process or any other rights.

The result: 1,000 families in poor neighborhoods around the city were evicted, and their homes destroyed.

"Under the presidential decree, public discussion of the evictions was banned and many key public defenders fled the country out of concern for their safely," the UN's Integrated Regional Information Networks news service reports. IRIN quotes N'djamena Mayor Mahamat Zène Bada as asserting that they now can build "schools and colleges, medical centres, libraries, sporting facilities, markets and bus stations."

Yeah, right.

With admirable restraint, IRIN points out that "it will be difficult start any projects as there are very few construction companies in the country due to the current insecurity, and there is questionable value of building libraries in a country where the majority of the population is unschooled and illiterate."


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Neuwirth,
I'm a documentary film student and I'm starting a project on squatting in NYC. I see that you specialize in international squats, but if you'd be willing I would love to interview you about the history of the movement in nyc.
Devon Neary

Robert said...

another squat firebombed in Athens:

rn said...


Is there any background available on the Athens firebombing? I can't read Greek, so I can't share any details with any blog readers. Thanks

Unknown said...

Dear Mr. Neuwirth,

I am a graduate student in architecture and urban planning at Columbia university, and will be heading over to travel from Ghana to Nigeria along the coastline. I plan to be meeting with local contacts to visit some informal (illegal) settlements and aim to document in just a few the architectural typologies and ways these accomodation are modified to accomodate informal economic activities. I know that you have spent some time in Lagos. If you have the time, I would be grateful to talk with you a little about your project to get your insights and advice.

(Sorry to use your blog post for such an individualized request.)

Thank you,
Kate Scott, GSAPP, Columbia U

rn said...

Hey Kate:

Thanks for your note, but what's your email? I'll take the plunge and reveal mine: squattercity at yahoo dot com.

The reason we have to talk by email is that I'm in Paraguay and Brazil right now. But when are you thinking of getting to Nigeria. If my schedule works the way I want it to, I'll be back there in late May/early June.

Tony Ward said...

Kia ora from New Zealand, Robert,

I think your blog is fantastic and have posted it as a link on my own website.

I am a retired academic with more than 40 years teaching Community Architecture at Universities on three continents (the UK, U. C. Berkeley and U. of Auckland, New Zealand). I have a PhD in Architecture – specialising in the interface between design education and critical theory/critical pedagogy/critical practice – but my writings cover a whole range of fields. For the last five years of my career I worked as Director of Academic Programme Development at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, (one of three Maori Universities) in New Zealand where I also taught Critical Education Theory and Cultural Studies and wrote and established a new Maori Art and Visual Culture degree programme with a stream in Maori Architecture. Doing this exposed me to issues of Colonisation, Education, the Politics of Identity, Cultural Pluralism and Critical Pedagogy. I retired a year ago and have set up the website as an educational resource. I am writing because I thought you and your readers might find it useful. It covers issues such as:

Critical Theory
Critical Theorists
Critical Practice (Praxis)
Critical Pedagogy
Critical Education Theory
Indigenous Studies
Critical Psychology
Cultural Studies
Critical Aesthetics
Critical Architecture Theory
Academic Programme Development
Sustainable Design
Critical Design etc. etc.

The website at: contains more than 60 (absolutely free) downloadable and fully illustrated PDFs on all of these topics and more offered to students from the primer level, up to PhD. It also has a set of extensive bibliographies and related web links in all of these areas.

There is no catch! All of the material is available free. I just wanted to pass on my knowledge and experience and to give something back in return for all the support and help that I have had throughout a rich and rewarding career.

All that I ask in return, is that visitors to the site let me know what they think about it and cite me for any material that may be downloaded and/or used.

I would also appreciate a reciprocal link to my site from visitors who find it useful so that others may come to know about it and use it.

Once again, I enjoyed your blog

Many thanks and best wishes

Dr. Tony Ward Dip.Arch. (Birm)
Academic Programme, Tertiary Education and Sustainable Design Consultant

(Ph) (07) 307 2245
(m) 027 22 66 563