Tightrope Walking

The Architecture of Violence

The Israelian intellectual and architect Eyal Weizman follows the architecture across the West Bank as he analyses it´s central role in the Israeli occupation policy and the development of urban warfare. Eyal Weizman is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and directs the project Forensic Architecture – on the place of architecture in international humanitarian law.

Al Jazeera will feature Eyal Weizman and five more architects from different countries in their series Rebel Architecture. It profiles new architects who use design as a form of activism and resistance. While turning away from elite “starchitecture” career, these architects design for the majority.

wall2Photo Kai Wiedenhöfer

“Architecture is the materialisation of politics,” so Weizman. “By looking at the interaction between the natural and built environment we can see the political forces at play.” For Weizman, when you look at the built environment and landscape of Israel/Palestine you are “looking at a battle field and the weapons and ammunition are very simple elements; they are trees, they are terraces, they are houses and cladding, they are barriers.”

wall3Photo Kai Wiedenhöfer

The Architecture of Violence is an Al Jazeera movie following Eyal Weizman in a journey across the settlements, the roads and the Separation Wall of the West Bank. Eyal Weizman demonstrates how architecture is central to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. His work on the architecture of occupation has led him to understand the discipline’s role in modern urban warfare.

wall1Photo Kai Wiedenhöfer

From walls and roads, terraces and sewage pipes, to settlements and surveillance, he finds that everything is designed to ensure the separation of these two peoples, while simultaneously maintaining control.

The film was directed by Ana Naomi de Sousa. She currently works at Al Jazeera English, on their Rebel Architecture series, which this film is a part of.

The Architecture of Violence premieres at the Frontline Club, London on 13 August at 7.30 pm.


The other 5 architects that are featured with each half-our documentaries that uncovers their work and lives are

10590535_636172229835135_8977055369279252378_nArchitecture of Violence – After the Bombing of Gaza, Photo published by Mohammed Zeyara

Week of August 18, 2014
“Guerrilla Architect” on Santiago Cirugeda
Santiago Cirugeda is a legend of Spanish self-build but can his collective approach turn an abandoned factory into a vibrant cultural centre?

Week of August 25, 2014
“A Traditional Future” on Yasmeen Lari
Pakistani architect Yasmeen Lari uses traditional building techniques to rebuild villages in the flood damaged Sindh Valley.

Week of September 1, 2014
“The Architecture of Violence” on Eyal Weizman
Eyal Weizman explains architecture’s key role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the evolution of urban warfare.

Week of September 8, 2014
“Greening the City” on Vo Trong Nghia
Vo Trong Nghia attempts to return greenery to Vietnam’s choking cities and design cheap homes for those excluded from Vietnam’s rapid growth.
Week of September 15, 2014
“Reality Bites” on Kunlé Adeyemi
Nigerian Architect Kunlé Adeyemi sets out to solve the issues of flooding and overcrowding in Nigeria’s waterside slums with floating buildings.

Week of September 22, 2014
“The Pedreiro and the Master Planner” on Ricardo
Ricardo makes his living as an informal builder in Rio’s Rocinha; but the government has a different plan for the future of the favelas.

The entire Rebel Architecture series will launch on Al Jazeera English on 18 August 2014. Stay in touch with the series and follow #rebelarchitecture and @Rebelarchitecture on Twitter.


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