Eyal weizman book reading:- Hollow Land: Israel’s architecture of occupation

Went this evening to a fascinating lecture by Eyal Weizman who is author of Hollow Land. He discussed the architecture of occupation. Two part of the lecture stuck out. Firstly the discussion of inverting the use of space. An alley – in it’s normal function it should allow people and vehicles to pass. The refugee camp in question, Balata in Nablus, was designed of course with alleys for this purpose. The Israeli approach, to avoid conventional ambushes of alleys, was to view alleys as spaces not to be used for access. The result being hundreds of holes in people’s walls, walking through walls, like walking on water, making the inside the outside. In this way the IDF carried out missions having surprise and unpredictability on their side. But leaving a large mess and trauma behind each time. The second anecdote discussed the architecture of settlements and that the location could be influenced by things other than politics. He discussed a bend in the road a few kilometres east of Ramallah. While driving around this bend in the road, settlers noticed a lack of reception on their mobile phones. Citing this as a security issue (as a terrorist attack could happen within this 20 seconds and help could not then be summoned) they persuaded Orange to build an antennae there (which in turn required that the military annex the land for security purposes). So the antennae required an access road form the main road. It required power and a water supply for building. On completion it required a 24 hour guard who lived there with his family. Through a series of aerial photographs, Weizman shows how the guard’s friends came to join him on the hill top and now around 150 people are living there. http://www.amazon.com/Hollow-Land-Israels-Architecture-Occupation/dp/1844671259?tag=particculturf-20

Eyal Weizman: Hollow Land book presentation