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Deserts Are Not Empty
Edited by Samia Henni

New York: Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2022
Graphic Design: Laura Coombs
384 pages
ISBN: 9781941332740
Distributed by Columbia University Press

With contributions from Saphiya Abu Al-Maati, Menna Agha, Asaiel Al Saeed, Aseel AlYaqoub, Yousef Awaad Hussein, Ariella Aisha Azoulay, Danika Cooper, Brahim El Guabli, Timothy Hyde, Jill Jarvis, Bongani Kona, Dalal Musaed Alsayer, Observatoire des armements, Francisco E. Robles, Paulo Tavares, Alla Vronskaya, and XqSu.

Colonial and imperial powers have often portrayed arid lands as "empty" spaces ready to be occupied, exploited, extracted, and polluted. Despite the undeniable presence of human and nonhuman lives and forces in desert territories, the "regime of emptiness" has inhabited, and is still inhabiting, many imaginaries. Deserts Are Not Empty challenges this colonial tendency, questions its roots and ramifications, and remaps the representations, theories, histories, and stories of arid lands-which comprise approximately one-third of the Earth's land surface. The volume brings together poems in original languages, conversations with collectives, and essays by scholars and professionals from the fields of architecture, architectural history and theory, curatorial studies, comparative literature, film studies, landscape architecture, and photography. These different approaches and diverse voices draw on a framework of decoloniality to unsettle and unlearn the desert, opening up possibilities to see, think, imagine it otherwise.

Read the Introduction "Against the Regime of Emptiness"

Architecture de la contre-révolution:
L'armée française dans le nord de l'Algérie

By Samia Henni

Paris: Editions B42, 2019
Translated by Marc Saint-Upéry
Graphic Designer: deValence
15,6 x 23,5 cm
352 pages, 73 illustrations
ISBN: 9782490077205

War Zones
Edited by Samia Henni

gta papers 2
Zurich: gta Verlag, 2018
21 x 29,7 cm
134 pages, 89 illustrations
ISBN 978-3-85676-390-9

With contributions by Nora Akawi, Silvia Berger Ziauddin, Jean-Louis Cohen, Ismae'l Sheikh Hassan, Samia Henni, Leopold Lambert, Asja Mandic, Eva Schreiner, Felicity D. Scott, Stanislav von Moos, Alfredo Thiermann, and Daniel Weiss.

After the Second World War and the onset of the Cold War, warfare took different forms, and war zones became gradually blurred and often undeclared. People, landscapes, and built environments came to be subjugated to the strains and constraints of these forms of war, serving both civil and military purposes of armed conflicts. The contributions to War Zones investigate some of these implicit or explicit conditions, legacies, and impacts. From colonial or total war, asymmetric war or counterinsurgency, to barricaded or besieged cities, refugee camps or borderlines, to nuclear bunkers or "war ghosts," to the state of emergency and drone warfare, these texts disclose the spatial aspects, statuses, and formation processes of past and current war zones.

Architecture of Counterrevolution:
The French Army in Northern Algeria
By Samia Henni

Zurich: gta Verlag, 2017
16,5 x 24,5 cm, softcover
336 pages, 73 illustrations b/w
ISBN 978-3-85676-376-3

Read the Introduction

The book examines the intersection of French colonial policies and military counterinsurgency operations in architecture in Algeria during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962). During this bloody and protracted armed conflict, the French civil and military authorities profoundly reorganized Algeria's vast urban and rural territory, drastically transformed its built environments, rapidly implanted new infrastructure, and strategically built new settlements in order to keep Algeria under French rule. The colonial regime had designed and completed not only tactical destructions, but also new constructions in order to allow for the strict control of the Algerian population and the protection of the European communities of Algeria. This study focuses on three interrelated spatial counterrevolutionary measures: the massive forced resettlement of Algerian farmers; the mass-housing programs designed for the Algerian population as part of General Charles de Gaulle's Plan de Constantine; and the fortified administrative new town planned for the protection of the French authorities during the last months of the Algerian Revolution. The aim is to depict the modus operandi of these settlements, their roots, developments, scopes, actors, protocols, impacts, and design mechanisms.

Samia Henni, "Jerboasite: Naming French Radioactive Matter in the Sahara" e-flux Architecture: Half-Life, edited by Nick Axel, Nikolaus Hirsch, Himali Singh Soin, Irene Sunwoo (December 2022).


Samia Henni, "Terra Nucleus: Radiating Desert Lives." The Funambulist: The Desert, no. 44 (Nov-Dec 2022): 60-67.


Habiter l'indépendeance: Alger, conditions d'une architecture de l'occupation
Texts by Ateliers d'Alger, Lydia Amarouche, Yousra Boutheina Reghis, Malek Cheikh, Samia Henni, Djaffar Lesbet, Nora Semmoud
Marseille: Shed Publishing, 2022.


"Nuclear Powers: France’s Atomic Bomb Tests in the Algerian Sahara" The Architectural Review (23 June 2022) Read

Samia Henni, "The Battle for Internationalization and Independence." The Funambulist: Algerian Independence and Global Revolution 1962-2022, no. 42 (Jul-Aug 2022): 48-56.


Samia Henni, "Oil, Gas, Dust: From the Sahara to Europe" e-flux Architecture: Coloniality of Infrastructure, edited by Nick Axel, Kenny Cupers, Nikolaus Hirsch (October 2021).


Samia Henni, "Exhibition as a Form of Writing: On 'Discreet Violence: Architecture of the French War in Algeria,'" in Parse: On the Question of Exhibition, edited by Nick Aikens, Kjell Caminha, Jyoti Mistry, and Mick Wilson (Spring 2021, Issue 13).


Samia Henni, "Anticolonial Remedies: From Colonization to Globalization," Perspecta 53: Onus, edited by Caroline Acheatel, Paul J. Lorenz, Paul Rasmussen and Alexander Stagge (2020): 193-203.

Samia Henni, "The Coloniality of an Executive Order." Canadian Center of Architecture (June 23, 2020).


"Reading Colonial Landscapes in Algeria and Palestine: A Conversation Between Samia Henni and Mostafa Minawi" The Funambulist: Learning with Palestine, no. 27 (January-February 2020): 42-49.


Samia Henni, Housing Pharmacology. Marseille: Manifesta 13, 2020.

With Fathi Bouaroua, Aicha Boutayeb, Vincent Girard, Habib, police officer, Laura Spica, Vendredi 13 (Monique Blanc, Bernard Nos).
Publication: Samia Henni (texts editing), Laura Spica (copyediting), Flora Fettah (proofreading), Good and Cheap Art Translators (Translation), Anbar Oreizi-Esfahani (Mapping assistant), ékho studio (Claire Bonnet, Charlie C. Thomas, Graphic concept, typesetting and design)


Samia Henni, "Female Agency and Psychological Warfare: French Colonial Civil and Military Interventions in Algeria, 1954-1962." In Productive Universals-Specific Situations. Clinical Engagements in Art, Architecture, and Urbanism, eds. Anne Kockelkorn and Nina Zschocke. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019.


Samia Henni, "Introduction: From Colonial Wars to Counterinsurgency." In gta papers 2: War Zones, ed. Samia Henni. Zurich: gta Verlag, 2018.


Samia Henni, "Reflections on the Authority of Architecture, Or a Brief and Unfinished Cartography of Disciplinary Spaces." In Kapwani Kiwanga: Structural Adjustments eds. Yesomi Umolu, Gaetane Verna. Chicago: University of Chicago Press and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 2017, 77-79.


Samia Henni, "Colonial Prescriptions in Paris." In Perspecta 52 "Ensemble," Yale Architectural Journal edited by Charlotte Algie and Alicia Pozniak (2019): 245-254.


Samia Henni, "Boumedienne, Niemeyer: When Militarism Meets Modernism." Preface to Jason Oddy, Oscar Niemeyer in Algeria. New York: Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2019.


Samia Henni, "Colonial Ramifications" E-Flux Architecture, History/Theory, gta Institute, ETH Zurich (October 31, 2018).


Samia Henni, "Norms and Forms of Dispossession: The Politics of Naming" Pidgin 23, Princeton University School of Architecture Journal (February 2018): 16-29.

Samia Henni, "Toxic Imprints of Bleu, Blanc, Rouge: France's Nuclear Bombs in the Algerian Sahara." The Funambulist: Toxic Atmospheres, no. 14 (November-December 2017): 28-33.


Samia Henni, "Black Color and 'Negro Village:' Why Skin Color Still Matters in Architecture," Trans Magazin: Farbe (Color), no. 30, Spring 2017: 158-161.

Samia Henni, "What the Hell do They Mean When They Say 'Independence'?" Written and read for Barby Asante, broadcasted at the Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Art Exhibition, Venice Biennial, 10 May-26 November 2017.


Samia Henni, "From 'Indigenous' to 'Muslim:' On the French Colonial Assimilationist Doctrine." Positions, E-Flux Architecture (December 1, 2017).


Samia Henni, "On the Spaces of Guerre Moderne: The French Army in Northern Algeria (1954-1962)," Footprint: Spaces of Conflict, Delft Architecture Theory Journal, no. 19, Autumn 2016 edited by Malkit Shoshan and Marc Schoonderbeek: 37-57.