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Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1844671250
ISBN-10: 1844671259
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Editorial Reviews


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

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

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

“A startling exercise in what it means to think through the axiomatics of occupation, capture and subjection ... Weizman boldly attempts to create an entirely new method to conceptualize the relationship between surfaces, movement, and the tools of war.”—Achille Mbembe

“A wrenching account of the multiple ways in which the land of Palestine has been hollowed out by Israeli occupation. Weizman’s stunning combination of words and images is at once a brilliant critique of the politics of space and a searing indictment of colonial rule and dispossession.”—Derek Gregory

About the Author

Eyal Weizman is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he directs the Centre for Research Architecture and the European Research Council funded project Forensic Architecture. He is also a founder member of the collective Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) in Bethlehem, Palestine. He is the author of Hollow Land, The Least of All Possible Evils, and co-editor of A Civilian Occupation. He lives in London.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (June 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844671259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844671250
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Nate Wright on May 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Weizman begins his introduction by telling the story of the founding of Migron, a Jewish settlement built on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Convincing the Israeli military to build a cellular antenna, settlers first hire a single 24-hour guard. The guard is followed by his family, followed by five more families, and "by mid-2006 it comprised around 60 trailers and containers housing more than 42 families: approximately 150 people perched on the hilltop around a cellular antenna" (p. 2).

But Weizman is not content to recite the facts of Israeli occupation. His analysis draws heavily on post-structuralist thinkers like Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari. Covering everything from Israeli architectural aesthetics, checkpoints and border terminals, to the Wall, Ariel Sharon's conception of depth security, Israeli urban warfare doctrine and targeted assassinations, he repeatedly penetrates the surface of his extensive empirical research, locating the social narratives which give birth to these phenomena.

He is primarily concerned with charting what he calls the "elastic geographies" of the occupied territories (p. 5), a continually modifying frontier in which architecture and space become both a form of power and a conceptual way of understanding the political issues at stake.

Some issues he tackles are well worn, but by combining his extensive fieldwork as a consultant for B'Tselem with a robust theoretical approach, he still brings interesting insight. In a series of chapters covering Israeli settlements, checkpoints and the construction of the wall, he exposes not just the extensive control of Palestinian society, but also the way in which Israel's sense of security has come to depend on a conception of the territories as a malleable and vulnerable space.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Carl on December 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Weizman's analysis of the articulation (division, consolidation, dimensionality, etc.) of space as a primary expression of political power is highly original in approach, full of extraordinary insights, and provides a powerful moral argument against the occupation of Palestine. While some writers theorize about this sort of thing, Weizman's application of highly refined ideas to concrete practices demonstrates a kind of eloquence and courage that is rare in discussions of Israel and Palestine.

I think Hollow Land is an intellectual masterpiece.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By railmeat on April 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Hollow Land is very throughly researched and Eyal Weizman is clearly passionate about his topic. The book provides an interesting perspective on a widely discussed topic.

The author is an Israeli, which gives him access and a through knowledge of the issues that many other authors lack. He is an activist and artist working on Israel-Palestine issues. He is also an architect, all of which gives him a unique perspective on the whole Israel-Palestine conflict. His descriptions of Israel's architecture of occupation shows his deep familiarity with the facts on the ground.

His interest in architecture some times took the book in directions I was not interested in, such as the history of the selection of the architect for Ma'ale Adumim. However in general this provided a fresh perspective, and new information.

The author clearly has strong opinions about his subject, but that does not interfere with the narrative. Hollow Land will interest anyone who cares about Israel-Palestine issues, as well as anyone interested in modern occupation. Hollow Land is also an example of a well written, throughly researched book that should server as a model for other authors.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a PHENOMENAL book. It offers an extremely in-depth, critical examination of Israeli architecture and urban planning within the occupied territories. Weizman folds in thinking about modern Israeli history, military intelligence and architecture to paint a profound, wide ranging picture of how Israel has rendered Palestinian space as permanently plastic, always in the process of being unsettled and shifted, and more importantly he shows how this transformation of space is not merely an academic curiosity but is in many ways the material center of the Israeli-Palestinean conflict, who has space, who doesn't, how is it manipulated and permanently shifted to accommodate government aims to both quell conflict and to make conflict itself irresolvable.

The observations and histories he examines of the Yom Kippur War, of Israeli military/theoretical thinking, of modern urban warfare, of targeted Israeli drone strikes (the chapter analyzing how they are carried out should be required reading for ANY person living in the 21st century), of checkpoints and the Gaza disengagement are all brilliantly elaborated upon, especially to an English speaking audience who might have, at best, little to no idea of how the Israeli government and the IDF actually carries out some of its most controversial methods and the thinking behind them.
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