The architecture of conflict

Photos by James Rawlings

In his photo series Architecture of Conflict, photographer James Rawlings got a rare chance to photograph the daily life of an eerily active ghost town. England’s county of Kent is home to a collection of faux building fronts and avenues, like something from a film set, built to sharpen the response of London’s metro police in quelling an urban uprising:

Before I actually went there, the main thing that interested me was just the place itself, the fact that there was a whole town just purely built for this reason. I like the idea of it being a kind of contrived, built-up thing — an architecture meant just for conflict.

What you get is thus a kind of generalized façadism, almost out of a Hollywood Western, explicitly for the purpose of simulated urban warfare and riot suppression.

Click any of the images below to enlarge.

2 thoughts on “The architecture of conflict

  1. Do you know about this one?

    Similar idea, used by the army in Wales. As so frequently in Wales, the area was considered as barely populated, though a community of farmers lived there, and there was a school, church, pub etc. (The earlier pages on this blog give the history).

    It was used recently for performance, by the National Theatre of Wales – initiated by Mike Pearson, who is a brilliant, and had been interested in the site for a while.

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