Work details
Application Number 0000801674
Author Banning, Kobina , United States
Coauthors Bucknor, Banel , United Kingdom
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Work title: Cow Market "Suk" : Birth of a New Border (0000801674)

Cow Market “SUK” –Birth of New Border As preparation for South Sudan''s independence declaration in July continues to gather momentum, the Sudanese people are struggling to understand the effect of the separation on their livelihood. "many people living in border areas do not understand the difference between land use and ownership. In addition, migration is an issue in areas with nomadic and fixed communities, and the referendum confuses people who wish to know what establishing a clear border will accomplish" Concordis International Investigations. Strategy and Tactics For the sake of this research project, we view the site as a laboratory by highlighting key areas along the proposed border, and analyzing the cultural dynamics in those areas, to propose alternatives to the existing conditions of social, political and economic conflicts [resources, culture and identity] through architectural interventions. Rather than drawing a map [traditionally viewed as colonization and power], our research finds the borderline defined by the inter-related everyday activity of the people in both territories, embodied by series of community interventions that enhances harmonization of border controls. Site Location The Nile river, the longest river in the world has been providing life to the vast Nile basin for hundreds of thousands of years. From Lake Victoria to the Nile travels northwards through Sudan crossing major settlements into the Mediterranean Sea. For generations, the Nile as John Reader describes in his acclaimed book Africa, “the corridor through which men, things and ideas passed from the one world to another”. Can the Nile be a “neutral zone” where citizens from both nations can freely meet regardless of visa status, cultural differences, identity and other border tensions? The site is located at the confluence of the White Nile where the proposed border line cuts through the Nile dividing the North and South of Sudan into the east and west banks of the Nile River. The project capitalizes on the natural network as an agent for exploration adapting an architectural intervention that integrates culture, people and the environment. Operational Tool _Cow movement The earliest appearance of cattle herding in eastern Africa was between 5,000 and 4,000 years ago. Cow has placed a central role in the life of Sudanese people. The cow is a source of food, fuel, marriage dowry, fertilizer, and nutrition. The cow migration, moves across all borders that stand their way (whether natural, political, social or cultural). “In juxtaposition, the smooth space of the nomad is not bound to a particular place by marked by vectorial displacement. The nomad is dispersed in space. He inhabits and holds it without measuring it. The space spreads in all directions. Configured not by subdivision but by a mode of distribution, it becomes a space without borders or enclosures, without center, and without periphery. Deleuze and Guattari The proposed design abstracts the ability of the nomad herdsman and their cattle to move across limitless boundaries, suggesting a dynamic and yet porous membrane for the new border. Thus the Nile is neutral ground where political opposing elements: the border, cows, farmers, northerners, southerners and the public meet at a common ground to create a harmonious border confrontation. This is achieved through various flexible and adaptable transitional mechanisms, creating a project that able to liberate itself from traditional notion of a border as a line of separation, rather becoming a space for engagement which is increasingly open for the multi-faceted and dynamic arrangements for occupation.