Important COVID-19 / Coronavirus information and FAQs

(In the sand the shadow has bathed)

Álvaro F. Pulpeiro

AA Gallery 13/3/2019 - 22/3/2019

Private View Wednesday, 13 March at 6.30pm
Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00

"On the 23rd of January Juan Guaidó defied the decrepit power of Maduro by proclaiming himself President of Venezuela in front of thousands of people. Meanwhile, I was eating a shawarma watching TV in the frontier town of Maicao, Colombia. Everyone started watching in awe as a civil war that will redefine Latin America began."

- Álvaro F. Pulpeiro

This exhibition introduces us to the partial universe of Álvaro F Pulpeiro's current film in production alongside an accompanying photo essay. Pulpeiro’s most recent work, recorded between 20 January – 15 February 2019, is a collection of ongoing research for a feature film that is being shot in and around Venezuela. Concerned with two central topics: Venezuela and petrol, Pulpeiro showcases his investigations in petrol smuggling and border economies, lived by irreverent and landless characters who survive and even thrive through contraband activities that defy the yoke of enemy governments and their imposed rules and borders.

This photography series travels from the heart of the arid and indigenous petrol crazed Guajira Desert, to old trucks driven by Venezuelan oil pirates that rush through clandestine scrubland trails carrying at least 70 barrels of 250 liters of gasoline each, and finally we venture into the ghost city of Maracaibo, where the largest oil reserves in the world sit being exploited sloppily by PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela).

Álvaro F. Pulpeiro (Galicia, 1990) is a filmmaker and writer currently based in Bogotá, Colombia. In 2015 he graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London where he was part of the collective of young artists curated by Hans Ulrich-Obrist, 89+. During that time he researched and filmed what became his first feature film, Nocturno: Ghosts of the Sea in Port (72',2017), set in a shark fin fishing vessel in the port of Montevideo, Uruguay. It had its international premiere at the Official Selection for Documentaries at the EIFF in Edinburgh and the Llendes Competitive Selection of FICX in Gijón. The film is still playing all over the world, from Miami to New York, Mexico City to Madrid. After completing two short films he is now shooting a feature length project about Venezuela, its borders and oil.

Contact details

Director's Office:
T: +44 (0)20 7887 4026


View AA Weekly

Download Events List (PDF)

The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.



The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.