Discussion with Arindum Dutta, joined by Iheb Guermazi

Battle of Algiers (1966)

Directed by: Gillo Pontecorvo

Presented by: Arindam Dutta, Ph.D., Professor of Architectural History, MIT Architecture

Joined by: Iheb Guermazi, HTC Ph.D. Candidate, MIT Architecture

Part of the Fall 2020 Cinema and Architectural Imagination series.

Join the Zoom discussion on October 16, 2020 at 6 PM

About the film: One of the most influential political films in history, The Battle of Algiers, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés, and French soldiers resort to torture to break the will of the insurgents. Shot on the streets of Algiers in documentary style, the film is a case study in modern warfare, with its terrorist attacks and the brutal techniques used to combat them. Pontecorvo’s tour de force has astonishing relevance today. (Text by Letterboxd)

Introduction by Professor Arindum Dutta:


About the presenters:

Arindam Dutta is Professor of Architectural History at the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT. Dutta also directs the MIT-Infrastructure Architecture Lab (MIT/IAL), which conducts research and proposes strategies regarding the relationships between broad, macroeconomic factors driving built infrastructure and the specificities of architectural and urban form. His teaching interests are in the area of modern architectural theory and history; imperialism, globalization, and third world politics; technology studies and body politics; Marxist and post-structuralist thought. Dutta obtained his Ph.D. in the History of Architecture from Princeton University in 2001. He has degrees in architectural design from the Harvard Design School and the School of Architecture in Ahmedabad, India. Graduating with gold medals from his undergraduate institution in India, Dutta has been the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, the Getty Fellowship, in addition to numerous research grants and awards.

Iheb Guermazi is a PhD student in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art (HTC) at MIT. He is affiliated with the Aga Khan program for Islamic Architecture. He Holds a Bachelor and a Masters of Architecture (M’Arch 09) from  the University of Carthage in Tunisia. As a Fulbright Scholar, Iheb completed a Masters in History and Theory of Architecture at the University of Washington (Ms Arch 14). His research interests include the place of postmodern architectural theory in postcolonial contexts, modern and contemporary narratives of regionalism and questions of identity and representation in architecture.

Learn more about the Fall 2020 Cinema and Architectural Imagination Series.

Above image: Film poster, "Battle of Algiers," directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (1966)


Discussion with Arindum Dutta, joined by Iheb Guermazi