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Title: Tracing the Cold War in Colombian architecture : a disregarded legacy
Author: Sanchez Beltran, M. D. P.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Drawing on a social and cultural analysis of the architecture designed and built by the state during the Colombian military dictatorship of the 1950s, and based on original sources, including historical archives, declassified official reports, oral history, and raw blueprints, this PhD research project traces relationships between architecture, and the national and international politics of that time. In doing so, this research analyses the relation between the built environment and power, questioning traditional concepts of representation and identity. It will be argued that behind the nationalist discourse, the nationwide consolidation of modern architecture should also be seen as a camouflaged instrument of the Cold War. As part of the contemporary debate about the worldwide impact of the Cold War, this research focuses on the architecture of the 'National Policy of Public Works' developed during Rojas Pinilla's dictatorship (1953-1957). It takes as a case study one of the regime’s most emblematic projects: the Naval College 'Almirante Padilla' - ENAP, using it as a methodological instrument through which larger issues can be traced: the architecture is taken to be a materialization of the political project of a ‘new state’ in Latin America, according to the policies implemented across the hemisphere during the Cold War. State architecture was explicitly used as a political device of the aspiring 'welfare state' amidst a social and governmental controversial context. This state architecture co-opted the Modern Movement, simultaneously developing modern facilities, and following other agendas. What will be articulated here is a critical view of this seemingly neutral infrastructure by questioning how this shaped what I will refer to as a ‘conflictual identity’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available