Camps and inhabitation





camps. exception. inhabitation. dispossession. Agamben


This paper can be considered an attempt to think on what a camp does rather than on what it is. Camps seem to arrest, fix in time and space lives, stripping political agency away from bodies and render bare lives; materialise principle of exclusions, control and spatial precepts of modernism through its heavily loaded political semantics. Camps explicitly determines the other, the unknown and the uncontrolled, the monstrous and the needed. Following what Mezzadra and Neilson, called “the different assemblages of power and the different forces of capital” that shape territories and spaces to answer the question I wish to use somehow playfully the concept of ‘dispossession’ developed by Butler and Athanasiou and the one of inhabitation by Agamben to reflect on the camp as a site, inextricably intertwined with the promise of death, police and disappearance regularly and invariably fulfilled and the incomplete, unfinished possibility of inhabiting. The paper try to suggest that camps are sites where one asks what it means to inhabit in the abyssal ambivalence of resisting death––exhausting and holding onto life.


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Biografia do Autor

Camillo Boano, UCL, London and DIST Torino

Camillo Boano, PhD, is Professor of Urban Design and Critical Theory at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL and Co-Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory and since May 2020 Full Professor of Architecture and Urban Desing (Icar14) at the Dipartimento Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche, Territorio del Politecnico di Torino, Italy. 

A qualified architect with a Masters in Urban Development and a PhD in Planning from Oxford Brookes University, I have over 25 years of experiences in research, design consultancies and development work in South America, Middle East, Eastern Europe and South East Asia.


My research and consultancy roles have included work in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand. This involved collaborations with numerous institutions, including UNHCR, UNDP, Refugee Study Centre, EU, Oxfam GB, Italian Civil Protection, World Bank and several architectural practices.


Prior to joining UCL, I worked in development and architectural practice for a number of years, became a research fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, joined the World Habitat Research Unit in Switzerland, UNHCR and  the Norwegian University of Science and Technology where I worked on a number of research and consultancy projects concerned with environmental forced migration, humanitarian urbanism, temporary shelters, post-disaster housing reconstruction, and communication in emergencies.

I was visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, University of Bologna, Polytechnic of Milan, Roma Tre and Université de Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne, as well as external supervisor at ETH-Zurich, NTNU in Norway and in ESARQ Barcelona and have been an external examiner of PhD dissertations in different universities in the UK and elsewhere. Since April 2020 Camillo is working part time also Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Dipartimento Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche, Territorio del Politecnico di Torino, Italy.


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Como Citar

BOANO, C. URBANISM OF EXCEPTION:: Camps and inhabitation. Revista Jatobá, Goiânia, v. 3, 2021. DOI: 10.54686/revjat.v3i.68984. Disponível em: https://revistas.ufg.br/revjat/article/view/68984. Acesso em: 1 out. 2023.



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