The architecture of conflict

Photos by James Rawlings

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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? http://www.abandonedcommunities.co.uk/page49.html

    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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