wip: rebuilding peace
The road to peace is a long and tedious one. In a region marred by tension, lasting peace as become the exception rather than the norm. Decades of intermittent violence and uneasy truce intertwines the hopes for peace together with the despair of war. Sited on a key flashpoint of the conflict, the pavilion sinks into the ground as a gesture of unearthing recent tensions and tragedies of the war. Peeling away from the ground in a symbolic gesture of progress rising from the lowest point of the conflict, the design builds upon the collective history that grounds the community together in a pursuit for lasting peace.
The scars of the Casamance land today are depicted by multiple issues - repeated broken promises of peace, the grief and burdens of locals, and ultimately the precarious circumstance of neither war nor peace.
Excavating and filtering the layers of joint history and tragedies serves as a catharsis; a reflection and exploration of a ideal of peace, one tainted by war, prejudice, but served and strengthened by a desire to start anew once more. The memorial allows for visitors to let go of their grief through the act of leaving behind physical items and words, then to learn and converse with others in practical acts towards a future, and finally to reflect and catch a glimpse of a completely peaceful future. The memorial is a beacon, an oasis that provides hope that peace is attainable from within and without.
Bricks are predominantly used in building the Peace Pavilion. Made from the soil of the site; a major battleground during the conflict, the bricks form the retaining wall of the reflection space, its facade expresses the pain and loss of the conflict, while its collective form of the wall embodies the hardiness of a people united and determined to forge a path of peace.
The pavilion's main arena is an open community space where people gather, share their stories as a form of letting go and easing their inner burdens.
Rainwater is collected as run-off from the shelter, and are channeled into a vegetable and herb garden before flowing into the central well, providing a practical source of water, food and medicine for the impoverished community. At this central reflection space, one contemplates peace in the presence of war, and peace deteriorates into war when the collective memories of peace are no longer valued and remembered.