Esra Akcan, Right to Heal: Human Rights, Reparations, and the Future of Memorials

Monday, February 6, 2023
5 pm | Campbell 153

What is the role of the designed environment both in the opportunistic responses to conflicts and disasters, and in the much-needed debates of accountability, reckoning with the past, and transitional justice? In this lecture, scholar and author Esra Akcan explores the concept of right to heal and architecture’s role within, by defining a healing space as one where political and ecological harms are confronted, and accountability and reparations are instituted. She raises the question of harm and healing after human rights violations in the past, and the right-to-truth. 

Esra Akcan is the Michael A. McCarthy Professor of Architectural Theory in the Department of Architecture, and the Resident Director in the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University. Her research on modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism foregrounds the intertwined histories of Europe, West Asia and East Africa, and offers new ways to understand architecture’s role in global, social and environmental justice.