8 September 2019
Casting Castaways - Asinara Visiting School
Every human intervention on an island – even those that interpret it as an ideal space for confinement - starts as an act of colonisation aimed at reducing the unescapable condition of insularity. Enacting the power of nomads as decolonising agents, Casting Castaways will migrate every two years from island to island across a former carceral archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. We will seek for a pedagogy that, while suggesting future scenarios vis a vis current trends in tourism, environmental preservation and heritage, interrogates those territories to understand how and whether architecture can challenge and escape from the very ideas of incarceration and colonisation.
In 2019, we will set camp in the island of Asinara (Italy), a penal colony from 1885 to 1997 and now a national park. Arguing that a new project for the island can only stem from direct engagement with its bare life and by de-structuring the conundrum of stratified formal structures and perceptions of the penal colony, we will engage with its territory through conceptually and physically digging into its substance. On the traces of Sardinian sculptor Costantino Nivola, we will experiment with sandcasting to read, measure, represent and intervene across scales from the vast territory to fragments and objects dispersed in the landscape.
Paolo Emilio Pisano, Sabrina Puddu
The programme is open to participants from a range of backgrounds, including but not limited to current architecture, art and design students, PhD candidates and young professionals. We are interested in people from different creative backgrounds. Places are limited.
- Carceral Islands
- Colonisation / Decolonisation
- Heritage / Preservation
- Penal Tourism
The visiting school will take place in the Island of Asinara, that is currently uninhabited and with limited access and accommodation facilities. Here, we will lodge in a building that in the past served the penal colony establishment. This will be our base camp and workshop space while we explore the full extension of the island – 59 square km – and its surrounding waters by foot, bicycle, or boat. We will engage the territory, the buildings, and the objects scattered in the landscape of Asinara through photo essays, a multilingual collective diary, and models made with sand-casting.
Towards the end of the first week, we will take a 2-day break from the Island to the mainland village of Orani where we will be hosted over-night by the village community and the Museo Nivola, the institution that preserves the legacy of artist Costantino Nivola. Here we will be introduced to the sand-casting technique by a local craftsman and will then return to Asinara to complete the workshop with the production of sand-casting models.
Overall, the workshop seeks to operate off-the-grid, employing a range of low-tech tools of representation and exploration.
With the support of local and international guests we will elaborate on themes of islandness and isolation, colonisation and decolonisation, heritage and preservation, penal tourism, and representation. We will open the discussion to the local community of associations, cooperatives and agencies operating in the park, to local artists and craftsmen, to academics and activists, and to the visitors in daily trips to the Island.
Due to the nature and location of the school, accommodation and food will be organised and a certain level of adaptability will be required. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have specific questions regarding any of the above.
GBP 1200: The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £1140 per participant plus £60 for the AA membership fee. If you are already a member, you won’t pay the membership fee.
Fees includes: tuition, essential sandcasting workshop materials, accommodation in Asinara island and food (breakfast, lunch and dinner). It also includes bus transport and accommodation for the field trip to Orani. If you have specific accommodation or food requirements we are not able to meet, alternatives options can be advised but will not be covered by the fee.
Fees do not include flights and travel towards the island, the ferry and transportation within the island (bus, bike or electric car rental), but transport options can be advised. Students need to bring their own laptops, instant camera, equipment and specific model making tools. A detailed list of needed equipment will be provided in due course. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen during the workshop.
A limited number of scholarships are available. Please send your portfolio and cover letter to email@example.com and the Programme Heads will be in touch to organise a Skype interview.