This website was created as part of the first ACSA Fellowship to Advance Equity in Architecture. 

The website went online in the Spring of 2024, initiated by Nathalie Frankowski and Cruz Garcia / WAI Architecture Think Tank, co-recipients of the fellowship, with the intent that the page is updated with scholarship, resources, and platforms that center questions and initiatives of social and ecological justice in architecture and related fields.


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Read the ACSA Social Justice Shift to find out more about ACSA’s shift to equity and justice.

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Traveling Lecture Series

Spring 2024

From LandBack to Abolition
De la restitución a la abolición

February 8, 2024
Universidad de Puerto Rico in Collaboration with Women and Gender Studies, Iowa State University, and Loudreaders

From LandBack to Abolition from WAI Think Tank on Vimeo.

From LandBack to Abolition

While Land Grab is part of the extractive logic of capitalism, with its systems of accumulation, toxicity, and incarceration, LandBack seeks forms of redistribution, rematriation, and abolition. In the face of imperial and colonial military escalation, and the expansion of the prison-complex into perpetual states of exception at the planetary scale, abolitionist imaginaries point towards futures of social and ecological justice and the collective emancipation of the oppressed peoples of the world. Building on the foundations of “From Land Grab to LandBack,” From LandBack to Abolition outlines infrastructures of resistance and the architectures of worldmaking. Through a series of talks, film screenings, roundtable discussions, and workshops From LandBack to Abolition interrogates the many intersections between anti-colonial struggles, and abolitionist practices.

Participants include: 
Marili Pizarro, Sofía V. Delgado Torre, Victoria King Martínez, Paulina G. Seneriz Góme, Ariana S. Villegas Cruz, Catherine Marsh, Jorge Díaz / Papel Machete,
Alexandra Pagán,Mariana Iriarte y Natalia Ibrahim Abufarah Dávila, Nora Akawi, Ilze Wolff, WAI Architecture Think Tank. 

De la restitución a la abolición

Si bien la desposesión es parte de la lógica extractiva del capitalismo, con sus sistemas de acumulación, toxicidad y encarcelamiento, la restitución (LandBack) busca formas de redistribución, rematriación y abolición. Frente a la escalada militar imperial y colonial, y la expansión del complejo penitenciario hacia perpetuos estados de excepción a escala planetaria, los imaginarios abolicionistas apuntan hacia futuros de justicia social y ecológica y la emancipación colectiva de los pueblos oprimidos del mundo. Partiendo de los cimientos de “From Land Grab to LandBack” (de destitución a restitución) , De la restitución a la abolición (From LandBack to Abolition) describe las infraestructuras de resistencia y las arquitecturas de la creación del mundo. A través de una serie de charlas, proyecciones de películas, mesas redondas y talleres, De la restitución a la abolición interroga las numerosas intersecciones entre las luchas anticoloniales y las prácticas abolicionistas.

Participantes incluye:
Marili Pizarro, Sofía V. Delgado Torre, Victoria King Martínez, Paulina G. Seneriz Góme, Ariana S. Villegas Cruz, Catherine Marsh, Jorge Díaz / Papel Machete, Alexandra Pagán,Mariana Iriarte y Natalia Ibrahim Abufarah Dávila, Nora Akawi, Ilze Wolff. 

Samia Henni
February 21, 2024
Loudreaders / Iowa State University

See the full information in LOUDREADERS

Loudreaders 47: Samia Henni from WAI Think Tank on Vimeo.

Samia Henni is a historian of the built, destroyed and imagined environments. She is the author of the multi-award-winning Architecture of Counterrevolution: The French Army in Northern Algeria (gta Verlag 2017, 2022, EN; Editions B42, 2019, FR), and Colonial Toxicity: Rehearsing French Radioactive Architecture and Landscape in the Sahara (If I Can’t Dance, Framer Framed, edition fink, 2024), and the editor of Deserts Are Not Empty (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2022) and War Zones (gta Verlag, 2018). She is also the maker of exhibitions, such as Performing Colonial Toxicity (Framer Framed, If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam, 2023–04), Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French War in Algeria (Zurich, Rotterdam, Berlin, Johannesburg, Paris, Prague, Ithaca, Philadelphia, Charlottesville, 2017–22), Archives: Secret-Défense? (ifa Gallery, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, 2021), and Housing Pharmacology (Manifesta 13, Marseille, 2020). Samia received her PhD in the history and theory of architecture (with distinction, ETH Medal) from ETH Zurich and has taught at Princeton University, ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich, Geneva University of Art and Design, and Cornell University. In the summer of 2024, she will join the faculty of McGill University’s Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture.

Imani Jacqueline Brown
March 27, 2024
Loudreaders / Iowa State University

See the full information in LOUDREADERS

Loudreaders 50: Imani Jacqueline Brown from WAI Think Tank on Vimeo.

Imani Jacqueline Brown is an artist, activist, writer, and architectural researcher from New Orleans, based in London. Her work investigates the “continuum of extractivism,” which spans from settler-colonial genocide and slavery to fossil fuel production and climate change.
 In exposing the layers of violence and resistance that form the foundations of settler-colonial society, she opens space to imagine paths to ecological reparations. Imani's practice combines photography and videography, archival research, ecological philosophy, legal theory, people’s history, remote sensing, and counter-cartographic strategies to disentangle the spatial logics that make geographies, unmake communities, and break Earth’s geology. Her research is disseminated internationally through art installations, public actions, reports, and testimony delivered to courts and organs of the United Nations. Among other things, Imani is currently a PhD candidate in Geography at Queen Mary, University of London, a research fellow with Forensic Architecture, and an associate lecturer in MA Architecture at the Royal College of Arts.

Fall 2023

From LandGrab to LandBack
September 25-30, 2023
Iowa State University

See the full program of From Land Grab to LandBack in Loudreaders.com

See the full programming of From Land Grab to LandBack here. 

A multimedia and interdisciplinary symposium spanning three continents, From Land grab to Landback explores the role of architecture and spatial practices in the politics of land and water rights, occupation, displacement, sovereignty, property, dispossession, reparations, ecological spoliation, capital, wealth accumulation and distribution, production, and on-going struggles against settler colonialism.  The symposium seeks to bring together diverse perspectives on how the built and destroyed environment shape and are shaped by power relations, struggles for land rights, stewardship, and extraction, and alternative visions of land use and custodianship.

Co-organized by the Department of Architecture at Iowa State University with support from the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities,  ACSA Fellowship to Advance Equity in Architecture, the School of Architecture of the Universidad de Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, Graduate School of Architecture at Johannesburg, and Loudreaders with support from the Mellon Foundation, re:arc institute and Producer Hub, the symposium is part of a series of events, exhibitions, roundtables, and publications to be celebrated in Ames (USA), Rio Piedras (Puerto Rico), and Johannesburg (South Africa).

Shelley Buffalo
From Land Grab to LandBack
September 25, 2023
Iowa State University

Shelley Buffalo (she/they) is an enrolled member of the Meskwaki Nation and lives on the Meskwaki Settlement in Iowa with her teenage son Rider. Her older son, Thomas, works for the Intertribal Buffalo Council. Shelley earned a BFA from Iowa State University, with an emphasis in visual and literary arts and has a long career as an artist, community organizer, and in food sovereignty, social & land justice advocacy. Currently, Shelley is building her firm, Water Panther Consulting, and working with Great Plains Action Society to create a ReMatriation framework to hold returned land and return Indigenous landscapes by building on a vision of an Indigenous future. 

Prior to Water Panther Consulting, Shelley served the Meskwaki community as a coordinator at Red Earth Gardens and the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative. It was through this work that Shelley found the healing power of rematriation by becoming a seed keeper and found sisterhood with the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network. She coordinated the Meskwaki seed rematriation partnership with the Chicago Field Museum and the Meskwaki display that is part of the “Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories” exhibition. Shelley coordinated the Meskwaki seed rematriation partnership with Seed Savers Exchange and served as moderator for the SSE Seed Rematriation Webinar series,  She coordinated the production of seed rematriation interviews and videos for these seed rematriation partnerships, for the museum display, and for Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative outreach materials.

The Meskwaki are unique in that their land based community is a settlement, not a reservation. Established in 1857 with the purchase of 80 acres near Tama, Iowa, the Meskwaki Settlement has grown to over 8,600 acres.  Here’s a link to learn more about the Meskwaki: https://www.meskwaki.org/history/

Sikowis Nobiss
Great Plains Action Society

September 26, 2023
Iowa State University

From Land Grab to LandBack: Sikowis Nobiss from WAI Think Tank on Vimeo.

Sikowis Nobiss (she/her) is Plains Cree/Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. At 19 she began her life's work of uplifting Indigenous rights and voices when she got her first job at the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council in Fredericton, Canada during the Burnt Church Rebellion. Between 2010 and 2015, Sikowis attempted to work with various Indigenous folks in Iowa City to build a climate and environment organization but was unsuccessful. However, her goal to found such an organization became a reality in 2016 when she joined the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This led her to co-found Little Creek Camp in February 2017, which transformed into Indigenous Iowa (later renamed Great Plains Action Society). From August 2017 to September 2020, she helped found the national influencer organization Seeding Sovereignty from the ground up. As her heart is with her people and the prairies, Sikowis returned to Great Plains Action Society where she can work at a grassroots level and a fully Indigenous-led organization.

Sikowis has a Masters Degree in Religious Studies and Graduate Minor in Native Studies from the University of Iowa. While attending the U of I from 2005-2008, she sat on many diversity and climate committees and was also the Chair of the U of I Native American Student Association. In 2021 she received the Impact Through Advocacy award from the Iowa Environmental Council. In June 2022, her dedication to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community earned GPAS the OneIowa Community Partnership Award. In March 2023, her work earned Great Plains Action Society recognition for being a women-led organization doing excellent work in the realm of sustainability from the Johnson County United Nations Association Chapter.  Sikowis is also a commissioner on the Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She also sits on the Midwest Environmental Justice Grant Advisory Committee, the Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector Governance Team and the Just Transition Power Force as a guest expert working to reduce harmful practices in corporate procurement processes.

Sikowis is also a speaker, writer, and artist. She believes that environmental and social justice work are inextricably linked and change will only happen when we dismantle corrupt colonial-capitalist systems and rebuild them with a decolonized worldview. She fights for a better future for her two young children.


Sean Connelly

September 25, 2023
Iowa State University

From Land Grab to LandBack: Sean Connelly from WAI Think Tank on Vimeo.

Dr. Sean Connelly (1984, Pacific Islander American, Illocano) is an artist born, residing, and working in Honolulu, Kona, Oʻahu. Sean's multifaceted practice encompasses sculpture, installation, film, design, and cartography, frequently integrating architectural and experimental methodologies. Their work delves into the interplay with the built environment, intersecting oceanic intellect and futures in contemporary practice, spanning both tangible and theoretical domains. This exploration is informed by cultural, ecological, historical, material, water, food sovereignty, and land justice themes.

Dima Srouji

September 25, 2023
Iowa State University

From Land Grab to LandBack: Dima Srouji from WAI Think Tank on Vimeo.

Dima Srouji is an architect and visual artist exploring the ground as a deep space of rich cultural weight. Srouji looks for potential ruptures in the ground where imaginary liberation is possible.  She works with glass, text, archives, maps, plaster casts, and film, understanding each as an evocative object and emotional companion that help her question what cultural heritage and public space mean in the context of the Middle East, especially in Palestine. Her projects are developed closely with archaeologists, anthropologists, sound designers, and glassblowers.Srouji is currently the Jameel Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum and leading the MA City Design studio at the Royal College of Art in London. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Gabriela Leandro Pereira

September 26, 2023
Iowa State University

Gabriela Leandro Pereira (PHd) is a professor and researcher at the School  of Architecture and at the Graduate Program in Architecture and Urbanism at Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA). She is a member of the Grupo de Estudos Lugar Comum [Common Place Research Group] and coordinates the Grupo de Estudos Corpo, Discurso e Território [Body, Discourse and Territory Study Group], at UFBA. Her research and investigations focuses on narratives, histories, memories and epistemologies produced about the city, urbanism, architecture and their erasures, intersected by the debate of racialities and gender. In 2017, she won the Theses Award from the National Association for Graduate Studies and Research in Urban and Regional Planning that resulted in the publication of the book "Corpo, discurso e território: Cidade em disputa nas dobras da narrativa de Carolina Maria de Jesus" ("Body, discourse and territory: City in dispute in the narrative folds of Carolina Maria de Jesus"), in 2019. Gabriela works as a guest editor in specialized journals such as the Brazilian Journal of Urban and Regional Researchers and Journal ABPN - Brazilian Association of Black Researchers. In partnership with journalist Bianca Santana, in 2021, she coordinated the course "Makers of Black Memories", offered by Casa Sueli Carneiro, where she is a counselor. In 2022, she participated in the 13th International Biennial of Architecture of São Paulo, with the work "Herança + O fabuloso inventário das Obras do meu Avô" ("Heritage + The Fabulous inventory of the work of my grandfather), co-authored with Maria Leandro Pereira.

Nadia Huggins

September 27, 2023
Iowa State University

From Land Grab to LandBack: Nadia Huggins from WAI Think Tank on Vimeo.

Nadia Huggins

Nadia Huggins was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where she is currently based. A self taught artist, she works in photography and, since 2010, has built a body of images that are characterized by her observation of an interest in the everyday. Her work merges documentary and conceptual practices, which explore belonging, identity, and memory through a contemporary approach focused on re-presenting Caribbean landscapes and the sea.Nadia’s photographs have been exhibited in group shows in Canada, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Ethiopia, Guadeloupe, France, and the Dominican Republic. In 2019, her solo show Human stories: Circa no future took place at Now Gallery, London UK. Her work forms part of the collection of The Wedge Collection (Toronto, Canada), The National Gallery of Jamaica (Kingston), and The Art Museum of the Americas (Washington DC, USA). Nadia was selected for the New York Times Portfolio Review (2018),  and her work has been included in several publications, including A to Z of Caribbean Art. She is the co-founder of ARC Magazine and One Drop in the Ocean – an initiative that aims to raise awareness about marine debris.


Marakiani Olivieri

September 28, 2023
Iowa State University

Marakiani Olivieri

Marakianí Olivieri Ventura has a Master in Architecture from the University of Puerto Rico. Born and raised in Vieques island. She was an active participant in the civil protest against the invasion of the US NAVY and military exercises in the island. Throughout her academic trajectory, she has dedicated a great part of her studies and research to the history and resistance of the people of Vieques against militarization and imperialism. Recently, she has collaborated with both Columbia University in New York and Illinois University with research about the military impact in the urbanism of underdeveloped cities like Vieques island.

Marakianí Olivieri Ventura tiene una Maestría en Arquitectura de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Nacida y criada en la isla de Vieques, participó activamente en la protesta civil contra la invasión de la Marina de los EEUU y los ejercicios militares en la isla. A lo largo de su trayectoria académica ha dedicado gran parte de sus estudios e investigaciones a la historia y resistencia del pueblo de Vieques contra la militarización y el imperialismo. Recientemente, ha colaborado con la Universidad de Columbia en Nueva York y la Universidad de Illinois con investigaciones sobre el impacto militar en el urbanismo de ciudades subdesarrolladas como la isla de Vieques.

Oleksiy Radynski

September 29, 2023
Iowa State University

Oleksiy Radynski

Oleksiy Radynski is a filmmaker and writer based in Kyiv. His films have been screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Docudays IFF, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), S A V V Y Contemporary (Berlin), and e-flux (New York) among other places, and have received a number of festival awards.

Michael Smith Masis
Entre Nos Central

University of Texas Arlington 
School of Architecture Critical Path Lecture Series


Arquitecto (2005) San José Costa Rica, Master en Diseño Ambiental Sostenible del Architectural Association de Londrés (2008) y Loeb Fellow de la Universidad de Harvard (2019). Es director de la Oficina Entre Nos Atelier Central y de la Plataforma Justicia Espacial. Es profesor e investigador en la Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad Veritas, Tecnológico de Monterrey y de la Universidad de los Andes. Su trabajo ha recibido importantes premios y distinciones a nivel nacional e internacional, fomentando la participación, colaboración, justicia espacial y sostenibilidad.

Architect (2005) San José Costa Rica, Master in Sustainable Environmental Design from the Architectural Association of London (2008) and Loeb Fellow from Harvard University (2019). He is director of the Entre Nos Atelier Central Office and the Spatial Justice Platform. He is a professor and researcher at the University of Costa Rica, Universidad Veritas, Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Universidad de los Andes. His work has received important awards and distinctions at the national and international level, promoting participation, collaboration, spatial justice and sustainability.