Saturday 5 August 2017, 18.00 - 19.30 BP Lecture Theatre Free, booking essential
Yemen possesses one of the world’s finest treasure-troves of architecture, displaying a wondrous array of vernacular styles.
Three of its ancient cities – Shibam, Sana and Zabīd – are UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a number of other towns and building complexes around the country await inclusion on that list. Each urban setting possesses a distinct ‘sense of place’, resulting from a mixture of ingenuity, available construction materials, social relations, religious practices and local histories. Conflict and resistance, too, have contributed significantly to the history of Yemeni building design, town planning and civil engineering. The current hydra-headed conflict, however, involving international adversaries divided along political and sectarian lines, poses a threat of unprecedented scale to the country’s architectural heritage.
In this lecture, Trevor Marchand, SOAS, will take stock of the damage incurred as well as some of the current efforts to safeguard buildings and to sustain conservation programmes. He will also address factors – in addition to military conflict – that represent perhaps more enduring challenges to the survival of Yemen’s architecture and traditional building practices.
The lecture will take place after the Saturday session of the Seminar for Arabian Studies.