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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA
Slave Dwellings (Oppressive Architecture)
by Gesche Würfel


Slave Dwellings (Oppressive Architecture) explores and documents the relationship between architecture and oppression during American slavery. The project examines the inhumane ways that slaves were forced to live and labor on Southern plantations as represented by their architecture. Architectural forms aided Southern plantations with commodity production, human reproduction, and social repression.

The project explores how these architectural structures continue to influence the contemporary landscape, its inhabitants, and our understanding of history. The project’s contribution to the architectural discourse is its documentation of a wide range of remaining physical structures of oppression. It also recognizes their historic value and raises questions about whether architecture can be used to commemorate and reconcile a country’s past.

Images courtesy of the artist and Tracey Morgan Gallery