The presentation in the Dutch Pavilion centres on the case study of Camp Castor in Gao, Mali, where the UN is carrying out a peacekeeping mission.
The colour blue is used as a metaphor for the conflict, uniting architecture, human rights and activism. The peacekeeping mission is located in the desert region of the Touareg, known as ‘blue men’ because of their indigo clothing, and is carried out by UN Blue Helmets. In this nomadic region the borders are fluid and shift with the seasons; there is a state of permanent crisis due to war, climate change, sickness and hunger. The confrontation between different systems – foreign and local, military and civilian, settlement and desert, Blue Helmets and blue people, the crisis and the Dutch response – provides the prerequisites for new spatial conditions. By linking cultural research to architectural research, the Dutch submission to Venice aims to make visible the spatial challenges and opportunities of this complex situation.
- Image © Dutch Ministry of Defence