Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America explores the critical potential inherent in the notion of “transculturation” in order to understand contemporary architectural practices and their cultural realities in Latin America. Despite its enormous theoretical potential and its importance within Latin American cultural theory, the term transculturation had never permeated into architectural debates. In fact, none of the main architectural theories produced in and about Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century engaged seriously with this notion as a way to analyze the complex social, cultural and political circumstances that affect the development of the continent’s cities, its urban spaces and its architectures. Therefore, this book demonstrates, for the first time, that the term transculturation is an invaluable tool in dismantling the essentialist, genealogical and hierarchical perspectives from which Latin American architectural practices have been viewed.
Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America introduces new readings and interpretations of the work of well-known architects, new analyses regarding the use of architectural materials and languages, new questions to do with minority architectures, gender and travel, and, from beginning to end, it engages with important political and theoretical debates that have rarely been broached within Latin American architectural circles.
It is an established historical fact that both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar formed a cultural unity in many different periods. After the military success of Mûs_ ib Nusayr, Islam broght unity to Arabs and many Berber tribes in the Maghrib, but the struggle for independence and the adoption of the eastern Khârijî doctrine always caused struggles. It is a well known fact that the contingent of Berbers among the Muslims of al-Andalus outnumbered considerably the inhabitants from Arab origin. After the decline and collapse of the Umayyads and Hammûdids in al-Andalus, various Berger dynasties seized their power and founded many different kingdoms (Taifas, from Arabic mulûk al-tawâ'if). Arab Andalusi culture flourished, which can be demonstrated by the fact that Arabic became the most important language of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule. On the other hand, large numbers of Andalusis emigrated to the Maghrib in many different periods. Already in the first centuries of Islamic spain, many Andalusis settled in North Africa. These Andalusis fled as a consequence of the drought, or were expelled for having collaborated against the regime or were forced to leave the Peninsula by the Christian Reconquista. Mutual migrations and political unity led to the exchange of many cultural phenomena between the two sides of the Straits. This fourth issue of Orientations focuses on some aspects of the ‘cultural transfer between al-Andalus and North Africa,' and particularly deals with some aspects of Poetry, Politics and Polemics from the eleventeenth to the seventeenth century.