Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (2017)

6 December 2018, dusan

“In recent years, a little-known research group named Forensic Architecture began using novel research methods to undertake a series of investigations into human rights abuses. Today, the group provides crucial evidence for international courts and works with a wide range of activist groups, NGOs, Amnesty International, and the UN.

Beyond shedding new light on human rights violations and state crimes across the globe, Forensic Architecture has also created a new form of investigative practice that bears its name. The group uses architecture as an optical device to investigate armed conflicts and environmental destruction, as well as to cross-reference a variety of evidence sources, such as new media, remote sensing, material analysis, witness testimony, and crowd-sourcing.

In Forensic Architecture, Eyal Weizman, the group’s founder, provides, for the first time, an in-depth introduction to the history, practice, assumptions, potentials, and double binds of this practice. The book includes an extensive array of images, maps, and detailed documentation that records the intricate work the group has performed.

Included in this volume are case studies that traverse multiple scales and durations, ranging from the analysis of the shrapnel fragments in a room struck by drones in Pakistan, the reconstruction of a contested shooting in the West Bank, the architectural recreation of a secret Syrian detention center from the memory of its survivors, a blow-by-blow account of a day-long battle in Gaza, and an investigation of environmental violence and climate change in the Guatemalan highlands and elsewhere.

Weizman’s Forensic Architecture, stunning and shocking in its critical narrative, powerful images, and daring investigations, presents a new form of public truth, technologically, architecturally, and aesthetically produced. Their practice calls for a transformative politics in which architecture as a field of knowledge and a mode of interpretation exposes and confronts ever-new forms of state violence and secrecy.”

Publisher Zone Books, New York, 2017
ISBN 9781935408864, 1935408860
355 pages

Reviews: Regine Debatty (We Make Money Not Art, 2017), Adam Rothstein (New Scientist, 2017), Sława Harasymowicz (Journal of Visual Culture, 2017), David Huber (Artforum, 2017), Joseph Confavreux (Mediapart, 2017, FR), Felix Bazalgette (New York Review of Books, 2018), Martina Tazzioli (Radical Philosophy, 2018), Noah Chasin (Springerin, 2018), Bernard Hay (Review 31, 2018), Anna Altman (n+1, 2018), Viktoriya Yeretska (BauNetz, 2017, DE), Erick Villagomez (Spacing, 2017), Andreas Petrossiants (Brooklyn Rail, 2018).

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Raja Shehadeh: Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine (2002/2009)

25 November 2012, dusan

An extraordinary and moving memoir by the award-winning author of Palestinian Walks – updated with a new foreword.

Raja Shehadeh was born into a successful Palestinian family with a beautiful house overlooking the Mediterranean. When the state of Israel was formed in 1948 the family were driven out to the provincial town of Ramallah. There Shehadeh grew up in the shadow of his father, a leading civil rights lawyer. He vowed not to become involved in politics or law but inevitably did so and became an important activist himself.In 1985 his father was stabbed to death. The Israeli police failed to investigate the murder properly and Shehadeh, by then a lawyer, set about solving the crime that destroyed his family. InStrangers in the House, Shehadeh recounts his troubled and complex relationship with his father and his experience of exile – of being a stranger in his own land. It is a remarkable memoir that combines the personal and political to devastating effect.

Originally published in 2002
Publisher Profile Books, London, 2009
ISBN 1846682509, 9781846682506
238 pages

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Malkit Shoshan: Atlas Of The Conflict, Israel-Palestine (2010/2012)

17 November 2012, dusan

The Atlas of the Conflict maps the processes and mechanisms behind the shaping of Israel-Palestine over the past 100 years. Over 500 maps and diagrams provide a detailed territorial analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, explored through themes such as borders, settlements, land ownership, archaeological and cultural heritage sites, control of natural resources, landscaping, wars and treaties. A lexicon, drawing on many different information sources, provides a commentary on the conflict from various perspectives. As a whole, the book offers insights not only into the specific situation of Israel-Palestine, but also into the phenomenon of spatial planning used as a political instrument.

In the early 20th century, waves of Jewish immigrants swept across the country of Palestine, seeking to impress onto it a new nation. It took over 50 years of local and international transitions to redeem the land; dressing it with uniformity, a new identity, a new landscape, a new people and a new culture while ignoring an existing landscape, an existing people, an existing culture and an existing nation.

In 1948 one nation celebrated its formal recognition by the international community and the other grieved amidst its ruins. This atlas of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict maps the processes and mechanisms behind the modification of the country during the past 100 years, both on a policy level and in its implementations on the ground. With over 500 maps and diagrams this is an indispensable reference book on the conflict. There are lessons to be learnt from the atlas on a broader front, from the withdrawal of the colonial powers in the early 20th century to the forced division of the Middle East and the ongoing wars and disputes over territory and resources.

Maps, plans and diagrams give a neutral, apolitical overview of the protracted conflict in Israel and Palestine.

The book won the Leipzig Art Book Fair’s Golden Letter award for “most beautiful book in the world.” Malkit Shoshan is an Amsterdam-based Israeli architect and founder/director of FAST (Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory).

Originally published by 010 Publishers, Rotterdam, 2010
Publisher Publication Studio, Portland, OR, 2012
Jank Edition series
ISBN 9789064506888
478 pages

review (Yousef Munayyer, Palestine Center)
review (Esther Zandberg, Haaretz)
review (Régine Debatty, we-make-money-not-art.com)
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