The architecture of violence

Eyal Weizman explains architecture's key role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the evolution of urban warfare

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On a journey across the settlements and roads of the West Bank and along the Separation Wall, Israeli architect Eyal Weizman demonstrates how architecture is central to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

“Architecture and the built environment is a kind of a slow violence. The occupation is an environment that was conceived to strangulate Palestinian communities, villages and towns, to create an environment that would be unliveable for the people there,” says Weizman.

Local Israelis and Palestinians explain how it feels to live in a landscape where everything, from walls and roads, terraces and sewage, to settlements and surveillance are designed to ensure the separation of the two peoples, while simultaneously maintaining control.

Eyal’s work on the architecture of occupation has led him to understand the discipline’s role in modern urban warfare. Visiting Nablus and Jenin, he explains how the Israeli army pioneered a new kind of modern urban warfare through its deep understanding of architecture.

But Weizman has found a way for architecture to resist. His latest project, Forensic Architecture, is way of turning a building’s military wounds into evidence to be used against the state for the investigation of war crimes, with the aid of innovative architectural and visual technologies.