Against Gravity: An Exploration in Post-Conflict Aleppo

Between the years 2012 and 2015, photographer Hosam Katan documented
the complex and poorly understood war in his home city of Aleppo in Northern
Syria. His photographs capture conditions that show not only a landscape of
destruction, but also elements of adaptation, joy, hope and lightness. Against
Gravity begins with four of Katan’s photographs and explores ways that would
contribute to the re-emergence of the social and urban fabric of Aleppo
through these immediate situations. Qualities and elements in these photos
are catalysts for architectural acts, that serve as a scaffold for re-establishing
a collective and engaged city. Translating these photographs into plans and
sections, is a way to acknowledge this photo-journalist’s contribution to an
architectural project. Specifically, in a project where site plans and maps
cannot be used as a tool to understand the aftermath of the war, nor would
this to the best way to assess the situation ‘on the ground’.
At the four locations of the photographs, architectural acts are introduced in
the city, inviting more people to inhabit the streets, playing a role in the very
slow recovery of the veins and the arteries of Aleppo.