Unreserved: Land-Cycles

Lateral Office

This project is part of the exhibition at Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB) 2022.

“For a colonized people, the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land that will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.” – Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

The colonial state is – at its foundation – an extractive enterprise, orchestrated through the dispossession and genocide of Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous peoples have, since time immemorial, been the custodians of the land, practicing preservation, restoration, and a deeply metabolic understanding of human, animal, and environmental relations. The project foregrounds, first and foremost, the relationships between community and land: reframing resources apart from extractive industries and instead casting them as faculties of abundance and relational networks that enfold more-than-human metabolisms. Resources are here extricated from their habitual settler connotations of commodity and re-grounded as resourcefulness. The five projects frame resourcefulness as paths to resilience and as deep entanglements between community and landscape.

While settler logic imposes the narrative of a singular, linear conception of time, Unreserved: Land-Cycles challenges this notion by proposing that multiple, cyclical timelines exist in relation to the land. These cycles offer a supplementary trait to metabolic processes, recognizing that learning comes from repetition and willfully entangled, rather than parallel, processes. Furthermore, they reinforce the understanding that generational and intergenerational cycles of knowledge transference and keeping coexist alongside seasonal change, wildlife migrations, and forest renewal. The five projects inhabit the places of overlap and transects between these cycles, foregrounding self-identity, self-sufficiency, and self-determination apart from the extraction state.

Each project is grounded in a particular manifestation of circularity, comprising a set of five ecologies:
· Forest management and material economies;
· Watershed stewardship and fisheries sustainability;
· Transference and keeping of traditional knowledge;
· The assertion and preservation of land sovereignty;
· Interfaces between the settler-state and traditional economies.