“Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none
of us is completely free from the struggle over geography.
That struggle is complex and interesting because
it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also
about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.” Edward W. Said
Sandi Hilal (Palestine) and Alessandro Petti (Italy/ Palestine) are architects and researchers, based in Beit Sahour, a small, hillside town near Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank. From here, their work often explores ways to challenge, resist and subvert the Israeli occupation through architectural practice and discourse. They are perhaps best known for the DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) studio, founded with Israeli architect Eyal Weizman. For the last five years they have been engaged in Campus in Camps, an experimental educational programme that began at the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Bethlehem. Around 750,000 1 Palestinians in the West Bank live in built refugee camps, established initially as part of an emergency response to the forced displacement of Arabs when Israel was created. Their “right to return” home, still unrealised, has been recognised by the United Nations since 1948. Almost 70 years later, the sites Palestinians have come to inhabit “in the meantime” are now the oldest refugee camps in the world, whose populations include the fourth and fifth generations of displaced families. Here, a distinct and “permanently temporary” Palestinian ident
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