Mega Projects as ‘Artworks’ Raising On the Worker Deaths

An elevator plunged from the 32nd floor to the ground. 10 construction workers were killed in condo construction in Istanbul last month today. They were forgotten just in a week. The death toll at the construction site reveals the dark side of the building boom in Turkey and elsewhere. 

Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg of worker death in construction sites. During the first five months of 2014, 97 workers were killed in skyscraper construction sites in Turkey according to a report published by Izmir Medical Chamber (Gökdelenler için 5 ayda 100 kisi öldü! (in Turkish)). Since those deaths happen to be one by one in several constructions, they were not even in the daily news. 

Severity of this problem is more visible in well-known mega projects such as the construction works for Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022. According to Smithsonian, more than 900 workers have already died while constructing Qatar’s World Cup infrastructure.

The International Trade Union Confederation says that if conditions don’t improve, at least 4,000 migrants will die before kick-off.

4000 workers are expected to be dead!

Such cases present an alarming situation for the exploitation of workers, which obstructs the very human right – the right to live.

Some architects’ and engineers’ indifference to worker deaths in constructions of their ‘art works‘ is remarkably appalling, which makes them partners in crime. Here is Zaha Hadid’s response to the case of Qatar Stadium:

Zaha Hadid on Worker Deaths in Qatar: “It’s Not My Duty As an Architect”

“I have nothing to do with the workers,” she said. “I think that’s an issue the government – if there’s a problem – should pick up. Hopefully, these things will be resolved.” (Dezeen)

We all know what this means in plain English, “It is not my problem!“.