Oppressive Architecture explores and documents the relationship between architecture and oppression in different historical moments - American slavery and German Nazism. Oppressive architectural structures are being photographed in a cross-section of places in both countries. The project examines similarities and differences in the inhumane ways that slaves were forced to live and labor on southern plantations and prisoners in German concentration, labor, and death camps as represented by their architecture. Architectural forms aided Southern plantations with commodity production, human reproduction, and social repression.
The project explores how these architectural structures continue to influence the contemporary landscape, its inhabitants, and our understanding of history. The project’s contribution is its documentation of a wide range of remaining physical structures of oppression. It also recognizes their historic value and raises questions about how architecture can be used to commemorate and reconcile a country’s past.