Alan Abdulkader

Alan Abdulkader

Seattle WA, US


Absence Silence and Topographic Politics


Absence | Silence and Political Border examines and highlights the problems that the Kurds are facing, specifically the Kurds in Northern Iraq’s autonomous region.  This project touches on two sensitive issues that many Kurdish feel have been somewhat ignored internationally.  The first issue deals with the chemical gas that was dropped over the Kurds in the city of Halabja by the former Iraqi government in March 16, 1988. This act of violence resulted in over five thousand deaths, with a total of twenty thousand affected.  The second issue addresses border tension; crossing the border that defines Kurdistan has been forbidden by each of the surrounding countries.  Twenty-two years after this massive atrocity, there are few people who have been educated of this tragic moment and are still relatively unaware of the problems the Kurds and Kurdistan still face.  The city of Halabja is the setting of my thesis projects and the Border will present the larger picture of geography and the political reasons behind it. 



The Kurds form the largest nation in the world without a political border and are surrounded by Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, and throughout the Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan regions.   With a current population of nearly forty million, the Kurds were the first people to settle the Middle East, and yet are now homeless in their own home and forbidden to speak their mother language by the radical regimes from the surrounding countries. 



Both of these two design solutions are interlocking the plight of the Kurds through architectural intervention. These interventions recollect the traces and the absence of the dead bodies.  These studies demonstrate that architecture reaches beyond the mass of a building; that architecture becomes a storyteller who transforms from the ground surface to the underground. These projects transform the flat sandy region into a high topography. Bringing back the tragic moment from this forgotten culture, this Architecture brings forth issues of identity, marginalization, traces of the Kurds, deformation, and tragedy.




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Status: School Project
Location: Kurdistan

Body Topography
Body Topography

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