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  • Re:LIFTA, Within the Right to Plan is the Right to Imagine Return | arenaofspeculation.org
    Our goal at Re Lifta was to respond to plan No 6036 by conceptualizing Liftawis in a post return Lifta rather than finding an immediate solution to the remains of the village We were interested in collaborative work that would re imagine Lifta as a narrated typology of return a landscape of memories and ideas Lifta on one hand had to be treated as a conventional site which we see as growing expanding changing in very much the way architects consider a site in say Brooklyn London or Paris To have focused solely on Lifta s current political landscapes would have prevented our minds from wondering beyond the physical and psychological barriers that define the majority of Palestinian visual culture always in relation and reaction to its Israeli oppressor After a series of workshops and meetings it also became clear to us that our initiative had to expand to become truly collaborative We expanded into a socio cognitive process to include scholars artists graphic designers and Liftawis whom we could reach This generated many conversations and culminated into a body of work that had to be returned and presented to Palestinian society Re Occupy Lifta poster el Warsheh Jordan Between November 15th and 18th we transformed the Yabous Cultural Centre into Lifta Cultural Week with a series of talks film screenings and an exhibition This was organized with the Cultural Heritage Protection Committee and the Yabous Cultural Centre Our work presented in the exhibition was divided into 4 parts Infographics Planning Return Media Morphosis and The Return Campaign Infographics dealt with a visual articulation of the Palestinian narrative on Lifta Planning Return imagined urban and infrastructural organizations that would facilitate the practice of return Media Morphosis experimented with the notion of pre serving collective imaginaries of the future by displaying ideal imagined scenarios through fake media The Return Campaign a post return effort to create images postcards and posters that present a thriving decolonized Lifta The exhibition space filled with locals Liftawis and curious passerbys became an interactive place in which to discuss return A type of place rarely found in today s Jerusalem Re mapping Lifta Collective MIP Greetings from Lifta Jorge Lopez Chile France COLLECTIVE Memory Imaginaries Planning Nora Akawi Elias Anastas Youssef Anastas Victoria Dabdoub Dima Khoury Inas Moussa Wa ary Mahdi Sabbagh Ahmad Wa ary Mahdi Sabbagh is an architect and activist from East Jerusalem He is currently an M Arch candidate at the Yale School of Architecture Mahdi has previously worked with the UNRWA Camp Development Unit in Bethlehem L E FT Architects and Robert A M Stern Architects in New York Connect Email Updates sending Name E mail Latest Posts Fighting new Nakba in the Negev Building Resilience in Hebron On Strategies of Spatial Appropriation and Resistance in Palestine Parallel Walks in Al Khalil Considering the Political Agency of Residual Landscapes in the West Bank Ramallah The Transforming City Today in Palestine More Interviews Jeff Halper ICAHD Alessandro Petti Decolonizing Architecture Farhat Muhawi Riwaq

    Original URL path: http://arenaofspeculation.org/2012/11/25/re-lifta/ (2016-04-30)
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  • This Place They Dried From The Sea: An Interview with Kamal Aljafari | arenaofspeculation.org
    re enactment but not what really happened This stems from an idea I had which is very much related to reclamation of places and things A couple of years ago I was filming a short miniature in my father s hometown Ramle I was filming raw unfinished balconies when suddenly a young Israeli guy appeared and stood just behind my back He waited and waited until he became impatient He asked me what are you filming I said the balconies He reacted by saying you see all these balconies they are mine Obviously the balconies were much older than him Dozens of films were shot throughout the 60s and 70s and 80s in Jaffa in most of them you would never see a Palestinian And even if you see Arabs in films like The Delta force staring Chuck Norris they re not Palestinians they re Israeli Mizrahi Jews acting as Arabs We were completely excluded from the image and therefore uprooted twice in reality and in fiction These Israeli films were claiming the city As if saying this is our city these are our stones these are our houses and this is our sea For me that s the biggest and the strongest witness that they are not theirs It may sound surreal but at times these films were even stealing the narrative of the remaining Palestinians of Jaffa like in the film Kasablan from 1973 in which all the inhabitants of Jaffa are Jews who are struggling against the demolition of their houses by the Tel Aviv municipality I would like to know why these films weren t shot in Tel Aviv There is a difference between shooting a film where the background is white of white walls and shooting a film where the background is an old wall Cinema needs history to create emotions you need history NH I want to talk about the motifs that show up in your film There are several of them The recurring image of the man in the café holding the coal up to his neck for example or the man on the motorcycle who screams and the washing of your aunt s hands or the recurring theme of your family watching a wedding video These become part of how time is formed in your film Also there s a lot of waiting around in different scenes in cafés or in the lawyer s office There s a lot of play with time and waiting I was wondering if that was intentional And if it was how the motifs played with time in that sense Hamada standing a scene from the film KA Everything you see is intentional The long take of the washing of hands watching TV or the man who picks up the coal with tongs moving it toward his neck are my favorite scenes in the film because they resemble for me what cinema should be I wish I could just have the washing of hands in my film in their actual length and rhythm which lasts much longer than in the film NH And they also are part of how the film avoids a representative form of expression because they re never complete images or they never complete a thought or whatever it is as a viewer you re expecting to come next KA I m not fulfilling any desires on the side of the viewer or fulfilling any desired narrative I do what I find works best when I am composing the image Some people are clever enough to see and to appreciate this kind of cinema But I would say that I made this film for myself I am not trying to target a specific audience which again makes the financing and finding of resources for my films difficult NH Can you explain more about how you are making the film for yourself KA What is the value in watching somebody wash his or her hands This is what I see She is my aunt and I find the way she washes her hands to be beautiful and elegant Although every time I screen it somewhere there is somebody who says my sister is the same way or I know somebody who is doing the same thing And it has nothing to do with being Palestinian I don t want to explain how the washing of hands is significant or representative of something I find the image in itself valuable and I am happy when people share with me this affinity People who appreciate it and who can relate to it connect with what I feel These elements are very much of a private inclination And in this specific project what I wanted to do is give these rituals or elements of daily life of my characters if you want a cinematic meaning For me making a film is very much a search into the life of these people and obviously the place where these people have lived which is my place which is where I come from and which is part of how and where I search for a cinematic language NH This gets me to the part that I wanted to talk about because I noticed this in The Roof as well and was wondering about it I feel like it s become a trademark of yours something you took from The Roof and used a lot in Port of Memory You have this curious way of panning across in close up onto buildings and walls and the rubble that we see in Port of Memory It s almost like you want the buildings to move with you Can you talk about that a little bit Describe what attracts you to that building KA I love these old walls old stones And I want to capture them I know now that there were many films shot in my hometown using my hometown as something else and excluding me from it erasing my history from

    Original URL path: http://arenaofspeculation.org/2012/03/11/interview-with-kamal-aljafari/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Playing in a Landscape of Separation Lines and Practices | arenaofspeculation.org
    the landscape where different degrees of occupation corresponding to the gradient of Israeli military tolerance 6 Hegemonopoly Machsomopoly Detail Cards The game in gallery settings operates as an interactive artwork that describes and interprets the landscape while engaging the players in the space where settlements and checkpoints abound a landscape that is a fragmented and elastic space in which clear distinctions between an inside and an outside of a political system cannot be easily marked 7 An elaborate and vicious legalistic bureaucratic system of practices and restrictions is in place which is designed to separate us and them The knowledge of the restrictions of movements imposed on some and not others renders visible the non linear separation practices such as the checkpoints and the permits regime Hegemonopoly Machsomopoly Detail Corner Hegemonopoly Machsomopoly thus deals with making visible lines and practices which in this case determine whether one moves or not wins or loses It does that within a reality that offers no shortcuts as the title of the exhibition of which it was part indicates a place where there are no ladders to the stars It accomplishes this by using a game which activates the audience and introduces them to a harsh and mostly unknown reality It entices the visitor to play or sometimes to watch others playing As one viewer participant remarked I think a game in this context is interesting in the sense that a western audience may give in to the competitiveness of the act and betray a gap between their sensitivity to the subject and the need to win It s playful The specific use of a game which relies on chance as the die determine the colour of each player s pawn reflects on the very reality the game depicts As another viewer participant remarked I think the game helps to step outside habitual responses and open up the debate It helps replicate what feels like random discriminatory rules The game s name was chosen to remind us that at the head of the struggle for political and cultural hegemony lies the state which aims to obtain the monopoly on the right to define an identity to those that live within it whilst demarcating and separating from the other 8 The name therefore offers a reflection on the political system that allows the strongest to win over land both in the right to own it and move around it When played by a gallery audience Hegemonopoly Machsomopoly draws out through minute details the segregating restrictions of movement in a region littered with lines and wherein neither the knowledge of the restrictions nor the freedom from them is equal to all As if responding to Gregory s call we need to find voices passionate as well as analytical through which we are obliged to attend to what we don t want to know 9 Hegemonopoly Machsomopoly Installation view No Ladders to the Stars exhibition Endnotes 1 Game board 60x60cm 6 coloured pawns 65 assorted cards currency

    Original URL path: http://arenaofspeculation.org/2012/01/30/playing-in-a-landscape-of-separation-lines-and-practices/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Category Archives: Physical Intervention | Page 2 | arenaofspeculation.org
    means represents the first attempt by Palestinians to return to their homeland Read More TEDxRamallah Voices from Free Palestine 14 Apr Filed under Critical Speculation Physical Intervention No comments On Saturday 16th April TEDxRamallah a remarkable transnational event will be taking place in Bethlehem Amman and Beirut to be streamed on the same day to venues in more than 20 cities across the world from Cairo to New York Asserting the power of culture Read More Land Day Al Araqib and its Implications for the Spatial Struggle 30 Mar Filed under Advocacy Physical Intervention 2 Comments Since 27 July 2010 when Israeli authorities demolished the village for the first time the struggle for al Araqib has risen to international prominence becoming a focal point in the Palestine solidarity movement both locally and internationally On the occasion of Land Day which this year Read More Pace Conflitti e Violenza Decolonizing Architecture 6 Feb Filed under Critical Speculation Physical Intervention No comments Società Italiana di Scienze Psicosociali per la Pace Italian Society of Psycho Social Sciences for Peace has just published an online issue of its journal Pace Conflitti e Violenza Peace Conflict and Violence devoted to DAAR Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency This monograph bringings together a Read More Self Urbanization and the Contours of Political Space 20 Jan Filed under Physical Intervention Spatial Analysis No comments by Nasser Abourahme and Sandi Hilal An extract from the forthcoming article Political Subjectification the Production of Space and the Folding of Polarity the case of Deheishe Camp Palestine in James Holston and Teresa Caldeira eds Peripheries Decentering Urban Theory University of California Berkeley Press Read More Twitter Feed Could not load tweets Beyond Peace Process Sustainable peace in Palestine needs a federal one state solution Bright Green Palestine A one state solution to the

    Original URL path: http://arenaofspeculation.org/category/intervention/page/2/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Olive Revolution: Challenging the Closure of Jerusalem | arenaofspeculation.org
    supporters will convene to launch the Olive Revolution campaign by marching on Jerusalem from north west south and east The demonstrations will be held under the knocking on Jerusalem s gates slogan emphasize the fact that Palestinians are systematically denied entry to the city Israel despite it being part of the territory occupied in 1967 together with the rest of the West Bank Ahead of September and the PLO s planned UN bid for statehood the protesters will also stress Jerusalem s unassailable importance as the Palestinian capital The protesters will convene at the four spots the last Friday midday prayer of Ramadan will be held The prayer will be followed by an attempt to march to the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem through the military checkpoints 3 Activists dismantle a section of the Wall at Qalandiya Wall in Palestine Flickr In the wake of the huge marches of Nakba Day May 15 and continued actions on Naksa Day June 5 this new action once again aims to challenge Israel s mechanisms of spatial control through mass non violent direct action As Palestinians and their supporters attempt to assert their right to enter Jerusalem the Israeli government will once again find itself with a choice whether to pursue further violent repression of the ongoing popular struggle or to simply allow the people to enter the city which under international law and bilateral agreements they have every right to access The Israeli response is likely to set a precedent ahead of further mass actions expected to accompany the Palestinian Authority s bid for UN statehood recognition in September Note For a broader discussion of the Olive Revolution and its significance in relation to the wider popular struggle and the PA statehood bid it is well worth reading this article by Alex Kane on 972 You can keep track of the events as they unfold by following OliveRevolt and PSCC Palestine and the hashtag OliveRevolt on Twitter The Dome of the Rock sited in the Haram al Sharif Temple Mount compound alongside Al Aqsa mosque RonnyPohl Flickr End Notes 1 Mondoweiss Olive Revolution plans to march on Jerusalem from four directions this Friday press release by Olive Revolution 2 The participation of the village popular committees was reported on Twitter by journalist Joseph Dana who reports regularly from Friday demonstrations 3 PSCC Palestinians to March on Jerusalem from Four Directions Connect Email Updates sending Name E mail Latest Posts Fighting new Nakba in the Negev Building Resilience in Hebron On Strategies of Spatial Appropriation and Resistance in Palestine Parallel Walks in Al Khalil Considering the Political Agency of Residual Landscapes in the West Bank Ramallah The Transforming City Today in Palestine More Interviews Jeff Halper ICAHD Alessandro Petti Decolonizing Architecture Farhat Muhawi Riwaq Yazid Anani Birzeit University Publications Advancing the Struggle Dena Qaddumi Resisting Spaciocide Ahmad Barclay Browse Older Occupation Law and the One State Reality by Darryl Li This essay is based on a lecture delivered at the University of Palestine

    Original URL path: http://arenaofspeculation.org/2011/08/26/olive-revolution/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Tent 1948: Challenging Conceptions of ‘Social Justice’ in Israel | arenaofspeculation.org
    wing organization giving a talk full of incitement and hatred to the left and human rights organizations Settlers already set a tent and were dancing with joy The existence of Tent 1948 in the encampment constitutes a challenge to people taking part in the July 14 movement In the first few days the tent was attacked by group of rightwing activists who beat activists in the tent and broke down the Palestinian flag of the tent Some of the leaders of the July 14 movement have said clearly that raising core issues related to Palestinian community in Israel or the occupation will make the struggle lose momentum They often said the struggle is social not political as if there was a difference They are afraid of losing supporters if they make Palestinian issues bold Banners inside the encampment in Arabic Hebrew and English Tent 1948 Facebook The truth is that this is the truth The truth is this is exactly what might help Netanyahu if he presses the button of fear recreates the enemy and reproduce the security threat he might be able to silence this movement The problem is not with Netanyahu he is not the first Israeli leader to rely on this The main problem is that Israelis are not ready yet to see beyond the walls surrounding them Yet one has to admit something is happening Israelis are awakening There is a process people are coming together discussing issues The General Assembly of the encampment decided on Friday that it will not accept any racist messages among its participants Even to Tent 1948 many Israelis arrived read the flyers listened to what Tent 1948 represent and discussed calmly Perhaps if I was a Jewish Israeli I will be proud of the July 14 movement But I am not a Jew I am not Zionist I am Palestinian I don t want to beatify the reality or hide anything for the sake of tactics and I will not accept crumbs I want to speak about historical justice I want to speak about occupation I want to speak about discrimination and racism I want to put everything on the table and I want to speak about them in the heart of Tel Aviv Social justice can t be divided or categorized If it is not justice to all including all Palestinians then it is a fake justice elite justice or Justice for Jews only exactly as the Israeli democracy functions for Jews only July 14 is a great opportunity for Israelis to refuse to allow their state to continue to drown into an apartheid regime Banners hung above the Tent 1948 encampment Tent 1948 Facebook You can find out more about Tent 1948 from its Facebook page For updates you can follow the tent48 hashtag on Twitter Connect Email Updates sending Name E mail Latest Posts Fighting new Nakba in the Negev Building Resilience in Hebron On Strategies of Spatial Appropriation and Resistance in Palestine Parallel Walks in Al

    Original URL path: http://arenaofspeculation.org/2011/08/07/tent-1948/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Freedom Flotilla II: Towards Ending the Siege on Gaza | arenaofspeculation.org
    a bold and effectual one with the possibility to transform the political landscape of complicity and indifference that has allowed the siege to persist In a recent article Noam Chomsky Huwaida Arraf and Gabriel Schivone underlined the need for grassroots actions to lead political processes and intimated the historic precedents for the flotilla International law looks good on paper but its enforcement requires political will As the Civil Rights and other social change movements in the United States and elsewhere have shown citizen action is an important part of creating political will limited only by the choice to act People acting together in the name of freedom human rights and democracy can constitute a powerful force that even the most oppressive regimes cannot withstand The success of the next flotilla and all those to follow will largely depend on the will and choice of the international community to resist U S backed Israeli crimes in the occupied territories and on the sea and to stand with Palestinians until the death and the suffering ends and a lasting and honorable peace is achieved 3 Video of attack on Mavi Marmara on 31 May 2010 culturesofresistance org Notably the international outcry that followed Israel s killing of nine people on board the Mavi Marmara last year led to a series of statements by the Israeli government and Hosni Mubarak s former regime in Egypt towards loosening the siege Although their pronouncements turned out to be little more than empty rhetoric 4 and the idea of a liberal or humanitarian siege is in any case a contradiction in terms such machinations demonstrate a decisive shift towards an atmosphere of accountability Yet such machinations demonstrate a decisive shift towards an atmosphere of accountability And with the political transformation taking place in Egypt this atmosphere will almost certainly extend directly to the gates of the Rafah crossing It is here that the interim Egyptian military authority has for months promised to end restrictions on Palestinian movement and trade yet until now with little tangible benefit to the people of Gaza 5 Crucially Freedom Flotilla II should not be understood only as a few hundred people on a handful of boats in the Mediterranean It should be seen as a vehicle to highlight the illegality and absurdity of the siege on Gaza and as a point of focus in a global action The reality is that it is the ceaseless advocacy and solidarity work of many thousands of activists around the world not least the Palestinians in Gaza themselves that will overturn the blockade And beyond this the possibilities for the future are limited only by our collective energy and imagination Note If you would like to engage in the collective efforts surrounding the flotilla the organisers of the US Boat to Gaza have suggested possible actions In addition the organising coalition and each of the national regional organising groups will be issuing updates and related action alerts Belgium Canada Denmark France Greece Italy Malaysia Netherlands

    Original URL path: http://arenaofspeculation.org/2011/06/26/freedom-flotilla-ii/ (2016-04-30)
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  • The ‘Housing Intifada’ and Its Aftermath | arenaofspeculation.org
    private development A state sponsored plan for affordable housing put an end to the Housing Intifada and heralded the start of negotiations between Palestinian community leaders and municipal authorities Graffiti in the gentrified Ajami neighborhood Jaffa Weeps Arabic Housing for the Jaffa Arabs Hebrew Daniel Monterescu Such moments of collective action mark a shift from a liberal discourse of coexistence to an assertive claim for political entitlement and collective existence Kiyan The housing problem thus encapsulates a claim over the historicity of the city as well as a dire need for practical housing solutions for low income families Although Palestinian communal mobilization has been increasingly visible since the October 2000 Events and Al Aqsa Intifada it is no match for market forces that promote the Judaization of the city The recent emergence of gated communities in Jaffa signals new modes of urban exclusion that reshape previous forms of spatial distinction Reviving previous traumas of displacement gentrification reshuffles communal and spatial boundaries further destabilizing Palestinians sense of belonging In 2007 the threat of urban removal disguised as urban renewal reached a new level when the Israel Land Administration issued 497 evacuation orders to Palestinian families charged with illegal construction As these families all live in the Ajami neighborhood a hot spot of Jewish gentrification it was interpreted as another attempt to transfer the Arab population out of Jaffa Predatory gentrification in the New Old Jaffa The Andromeda Hill gated community next to a soon to be demolished Arab house Daniel Monterescu Beyond producing a deep sense of alienation ethno gentrification and Palestinian resistance to it push new social actors to the fore Instead of the liberal plea for equality a new discourse of urban rights calls to institute an inclusive redefinition of citizenship tailored for the indigenous national minority which seeks to combat neoliberal urban restructuring Increasingly visible NGOs like Shatil s Mixed Cities Project Adalah and the Popular Committee for Housing and Land in Jaffa are beginning to do precisely that Today the struggle over the Palestinian right to the city continues in courts media and through grassroots activism Note For more discussion on The Right to the City with regards to Palestinian citizens of Israel please refer to the first volume of Makan the Journal for Land Planning and Justice shared on this site with kind permission from Adalah A map of the Israel Land Administration plan to evacuate 497 Palestinian families from their houses Courtesy Popular Committee for Land and Housing in Jaffa Daniel Monterescu is assistant professor of urban anthropology at the Central European University in Budapest He is editor with Dan Rabinowitz of Mixed Towns Trapped Communities Historical Narratives Spatial Dynamics and Gender Relations in Jewish Arab Mixed Towns in Israel Palestine 2007 Connect Email Updates sending Name E mail Latest Posts Fighting new Nakba in the Negev Building Resilience in Hebron On Strategies of Spatial Appropriation and Resistance in Palestine Parallel Walks in Al Khalil Considering the Political Agency of Residual Landscapes in the West

    Original URL path: http://arenaofspeculation.org/2011/06/22/housing-intifada-and-its-aftermath/ (2016-04-30)
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