{ healing }


The biggest hit to Kobane in Rojava, northern Syria, came on June 25, 2015. Several months after defeating ISIS, hundreds of Islamic State fighters sneaked back into town during the night and began a massacre. Over 300 people were killed, mostly civilians. Fighting in the city lasted three days, and the images of bloated bodies lying in the sun have been entrenched in local people’s memories.

Much has been written on space and PTSD: both on how the built environment is used to counter trauma – by providing open, clean and tranquil places – and on how memories transcribed onto the urban fabric can forever carry an emotional legacy.

“In part, we recognise our place in the world by an interaction with the built environment and remembering these experiences, and by being informed of the experience of others: the creation of social identity located in time and place,” wrote Robert Bevan in Destruction of Memory.

In November 2018, several spaces in Kobane were aiming to reinforce the local social identity that had been suppressed for years by Assad and later faced annihilation by ISIS. Namely, a private library of a slain family and the House of Martyrs – with commemorative spaces and a ceremonial cemetery – as well as a behemoth preservation project of a destroyed area.


Benas Gerdziunas