Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

Between Exhaustion and Cure — Foreword

20 APR 2024 - 06 MAY 2024
Periple Duet 2024
Tatuli Japoshvili and Giga Tsikarishvili
LINA, Creative Europe
Additional info
This essay is part of Periple Duet.

Alter-worlding as a source of cure along exhausting and exhausted touristic paths.

by wit[h]nessing

As part of an invitation from the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and DAI-SAI, we embarked on a challenging on-land journey spanning approximately 7,100 kilometres from Tbilisi to Lisbon, traversing the expanse between the eastern and western extremities of trans-European territory. Over the course of 12 days, we crossed the borders of 10 countries, spending nights in 12 different cities. All the while, the sounds of riots from the streets of Tbilisi echoed in our minds, a constant reminder of the ongoing unrest we had seemingly left behind.

While this investigation acknowledges accelerated globalisation and international (im)mobility, as well as increasing debates about geopolitics, national identity, migration, and border control, it does not aim to provide a comprehensive analysis of these issues. Nor does it delve into the ‘politics of exhaustion’—a border governance method designed to deter, exclude, and control through the mental and physical exhaustion of individuals. Neither does it offer concrete solutions based on the ethics of cure. Instead, as travellers, we chose to immerse ourselves in restricted yet unfamiliar places, rich with both sources of exhaustion and healing, and to make sense of experienced affects through imagination, speculation, and storytelling.

Speculative fabulation, inspired by Donna Haraway’s proposition, serves as a tool for disrupting perception and habitual ways of knowing by amplifying alternative and virtual potentials within any given condition. While speculation might extend far beyond already-actualised realities, it has the power to communicate something yet unthought, non-actualised, or non-actualisable. It acknowledges the impossibility of fully understanding the complex intricacies of each culture, territory, and language—playing instead with the limited spatial and temporal circumstances of the travelling experience. By questioning our position as foreign observers, yielding to intuition, and entering the humble dimension of wit(h)nessing, we attempt to explore alternative modes of human subjectivity, relation towards the world, and coexistence.

The rapid pace of our movement and the predetermined paths we followed significantly influenced the nature of our investigation. Not that we truly “investigated” the multilayered contexts along the way, but rather caught glimpses of various urban and rural environments serving as pathways for migrants, tourists, and travellers. These places are exhausted by the gaze of millions on the move or by those veering off this trajectory, such as in cases of illegal migration. These exhausting setups have, in turn, shaped us—still feeling the waves of exhaustion hitting our bodies while finding healing in the numerous encounters we had.

imagem dividing an sandy landscape with a blue sky showing a full moon

Periple Duet 2024, Between Exhaustion and Cure © wit[h]nessing

Following the unconscious threads of our thoughts, we present twelve speculative stories inspired by a tapestry of twelve cities that marked our journey, as well as the intermediate spaces between them:

  • Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Tirana, Albania
  • Krvavica, Croatia
  • Rijeka, Croatia
  • Venice, Italy
  • Marseille, France
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Seville, Spain
  • Faro, Portugal
  • Lisbon, Portugal

Something unique unfolded in Krvavica, where we took part in the Architecture of Cure program organised by DAI-SAI. Over the course of five days, alongside local and international artists, architects, and researchers, we explored the history and contemporaneity of the Children’s Maritime Health Resort of Military Insured Persons, designed by Croatian architect Rikard Marasović in 1965. A journey aimed at redefining our understanding of collectivity, performativity, and materiality in relation to the building and the notion of cure led us to propose to other participants to join us in collective storytelling. The outcomes of this collaborative endeavour will be integrated into one of the narratives, depicting our shared experience.

We hope that these stories create a space for dialogue between those of us who are local to some territories and those who are foreigners to others, filling in gaps with new manifestations of knowledge, imagination, and speculation. Even the slightest chance that the strict borders between different entities we belong to, both actual and ontological, might become thresholds for new imaginings, conceptions, and relations makes it worth the effort.

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