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This is a brilliantly original examination 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 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.
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"...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
"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, July 2007
"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, June 28, 2007
"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, July 1, 2007
"[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. -- The Nation, July 16/23, 2007
"[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."
-- Architects' Journal, July 5, 2007
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 co-edited the book A Civilian Occupation to accompany the major exhibition of the same name, has written many articles in journals, magazines, and books, and is an Editor at Large for Cabinet. He received the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize for 2006-7.
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