Book Reading/Signing: Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation

Fri, September 28, 2007 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Book Reading by Eyal Weizman

Free and open to the public

Refreshments will be served

Groundbreaking exposé of Israel’s terrifying reconceptualization of geopolitics in the Occupied Territories and beyond

Hollow Land is a groundbreaking exploration of the political space created by Israel’s colonial occupation. In this journey from the deep subterranean spaces of the West Bank and Gaza to their militarized airspace, Weizman unravels Israel’s mechanisms of control and its transformation of the Occupied Territories into a theoretically constructed artifice, in which natural and built features function as the weapons and ammunition with which the conflict is waged.

Weizman traces the development of these ideas, from the influence of archaeology on urban planning, Ariel Sharon’s reconceptualization of military defense during the 1973 war, through the planning and architecture of the settlements, to contemporary Israeli discourse and practice of urban warfare. In exploring Israel’s methods to transform the landscape itself into a tool of total domination and control, Hollow Land lays bare the political system at the heart of this complex and terrifying project of late-modern colonial occupation.

Eyal Weizman is Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and has worked with a variety of NGOs and human right groups in Israel-Palestine. He is an editor-at-large of Cabinet magazine, and received the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize for 2006–7.

From the Reviews of Hollow Land:

“Eyal Weizman brilliantly deconstructs Israel’s yoking of traditionally humanist disciplines and discourse to the service of its campaign against the Palestians. This book is chilling but essential reading.” — Ahdaf Soueif, author of The Map of Love

“Hollow Land is a remarkably original work that confirms Eyal Weizman’s indispensable role as a critic of the sinister and ubiquitous instrumentality of space in contemporary politics and life.” — Michael Sorkin

“A startling exercise in what it means to think through the axiomatics of occupation, capture and subjection.” — Achille Mbembe, author of On the Postcolony

“Hollow Land is a remarkable achievement. Scholarly and poetic in its epic reach, and narrated with the clarity of vision and sensibility of an artist, Hollow Land is destined to become a classic.” — Karma Nabulsi, Oxford University

“[Eyal Weizman] has a keen eye for design, space and structure, bringing a refreshingly new perspective to a topic hitherto ruled by journalists, historians and social scientists. The result is one of the most original books on Israel to appear in years … a vision of the conflict that only an architect could have provided. Israeli planners, Weizman claims, no longer think of the West Bank in two-dimensional terms; instead, they have re-imagined the land as a multilayered system akin to an architect's project model … The book's prognosis is desperate and gloomy, but Weizman supports it with prodigious documentation, rare interviews and a remarkable eye for the politics of design. His chapter on Jerusalem's architectural bylaws, for example, is a masterpiece of political analysis... Weizman's architectural approach makes Hollow Land a tonic for even the most jaded observers of the Israel-Palestine tragedy... The quality of [his] analysis is truly exciting.” – James Ron, The Nation

“...Weizman, an Israeli-born architect who is the recipient this year of the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture, will open a series of lectures this fall at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal. The talks are pegged to the release of Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, a chilling book in which he explores the way the military selects targets in bombing and fortifying cities and how those strategies can re-emerge in civilian planning practices during peacetime. His analysis is ideally timed...” – Nicolai Ouroussoff, New York Times (September 10, 2006)

“In Hollow Land, Eyal Weizman has taken [Edward] Said's thesis to a new level, generating extraordinary, and at times surreally uncomfortable, conclusions... Weizman's book is of salutary interest.” – Jay Merrick, The Independent

“A fascinating interpretation of the Israeli situation that argues architecture and planning are being used as weapons in a “war by other means ... It is a detailed foray into a highly complex situation...highly stimulating...” – Pamela Buxton, Building Design

“Weizman’s forensic rigour in analysing the methodology [of occupation] is without equal. Hollow Land is a bleak but essential book.” – Robert Bevan, RIBA Journal

“[Weizman] surpasses Said’s essentially two dimensional vision with a 3D Sensurround revelation of a land in which architecture, infrastructure and town planning have become strategic military apparatus as important as tanks and special troops. This is an engrossing, debatable and suitably disorientating treatise.” – Jay Merrick, Architect’s Journal

“The freshest and most eye-opening analysis of the Israeli occupation of Palestine to have been produced for some time. The power of insight which this work achieves, its focus on the material and literally concrete reality of occupation, is frankly astonishing.” – New Humanist

Last updated: 2007-11-21 11:37:23

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