Didem Doğan

The Architecture Biennial in Valparaiso: The inevitable dialogues

We were at the opening ceremony of the 20th Architecture Biennial held in Valparaiso between 26 Oct and 10 Nov, organised by the faculties of architecture in Chile. The conceptual frame of the Biennial is ‘Inevitable Dialogues’ The current situation of the world: a population of more than seven billion people, almost half of which live in urban places. The city is increasingly unequal, the poverty line is increasing each day, many people feel excluded and they are actually the ones at margins of the society with no house, job or food. The architects who organised the Biennial gathered around what is priority to discuss rather than what is aesthetic, beautiful, experimental that previously used to be more important for them. It is now time to discuss what is urgent, prior, inevitable to talk, how to design the cities around these issues, what are our prior concerns, what is that we should worry about. And they give voice to people, to city’s owners. Together with the photographer Jorge Brentmayer they picture all the faces of Chile: artists, peasants, beauty queens, sex workers, poets, religious people, environmentalists, blinds and disabled, firemen… They discuss about seven issues: identity, common, participation, integration, vulnerability, resources, future. They are asking who is the citizen of Chile and after a long period of military regime where identities were hidden they call for transparency. It is an important, valuable call, we loved it!