THE DOGMATIC GARDEN: QU' RANIC ACADEMY IN BAGHDAD
The phenomenon of Isis forces us to re-consider how, within the Islamic world, religion is intersected with politics and education. How a religious dogma still could play an active role in the society, providing an imposed direction for Muslim's life and behaviours.
As critique to a simplifying vision that identifies religious integralism necessarily with terrorism, I am proposing a Qu'ranic Academy in Baghdad, a constructed island on the Tigris, in front of the International Green Zone. To face these phoenomena of radicalization, instead of exporting and forcing a different model of government, the best way is giving them an appropriate and contextual voice, addressing their dogmatic instances.
This Qu'ranic Academy is constructing a publicness based on an extremely rigid religious model, where the dogmatism is pursued through education and its different methodologies. Violence isn't physical, the violent act consists in strictly imposing certain beliefs. And in an obsessive geometrical and architectural unfolding.
Internalizing the symbolic and typological features of the Islamic Paradise and the Kullyesi, the Academy is conceived as a synthetic garden, essentially an accumulation of domes, water and geometry. An inhabited pattern, where the Iconoclast abstraction – pushed to the extreme – triggers and informs a new radical spatial imagery. Architectural violence.