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Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation

Acclaimed exploration of the political space created by Israel's colonial occupation

From the tunnels of Gaza to the militarized airspace of the Occupied Territories, Eyal Weizman unravels Israel's mechanisms of control and its transformation of Palestinian towns, villages and roads into an artifice where all natural and built features serve military ends. Weizman traces the development of this strategy, from the influence of archaeology on urban planning, Ariel Sharon's reconceptualization of military defence during the 1973 war, through the planning and architecture of the settlements, to the contemporary Israeli discourse and practice of urban warfare and airborne targeted assassinations.

Hollow Land lays bare the political system at the heart of this complex and terrifying project of late-modern colonial occupation.

 

Reviews

  • “The most astonishing book on architecture that I have read in years.”
  • “A masterpiece of political analysis.”
  • “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.”
  • “Weizman takes his readers on a tour of the visible and invisible ways in which Israel implements its control over Palestinians... Hollow Land is eloquent about the architectural chaos and confusion created by Israel in the Occupied Territories.”
  • “A passionate jeremiad.”
  • “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.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”

Blog

  • Infrastructures of Empire and Resistance


    Demolition of "The Jungle" migrant camp in Calais, October 2016. 

    In late October 2016, I packed my bags for a short trip abroad, leaving a region raw with struggle over the racial and colonial violence of infrastructure. In places like Standing Rock, Flint, Muskrat Falls, Toronto, and Baltimore, conflicts raged over the targeted violence of energy, water, border, and policing systems. Movements for Black lives, for migrants’ rights, for indigenous sovereignty, and for economic and environmental justice were increasingly mapping violent infrastructure systems with their direct actions and analyses. The water protectors’ camps at Standing Rock were large and growing, animated by spirit, ceremony, and unprecedented gathering as they halted the Dakota Access Pipeline. The largest prison strike in history, 45 years after the Attica uprising, was calling out the inhumanity of American carceral infrastructure. Black organizers were denouncing infrastructure crises like the one poisoning Flint, Michigan, suggesting these would be the defining struggles for Black communities to come. More than 50 Indigenous Nations from across Turtle Island had just signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, with the goal of protecting Indigenous lands and waters from all proposed pipeline, tanker, and rail projects. In my hometown of Toronto, Black Lives Matter members were making claims for the protection of “Black Infrastructure.” Blockades of damns, ports, highways, and rail infrastructure had become frequent news virtually everywhere, except for in the reporting of the mainstream media.

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  • "Le Corbusier’s Ideal is a Barracks"

    While the Pompidou Centre is paying homage to Le Corbusier, a group of historians and writers reminds us that his works were coloured throughout by his totalitarian and fascist views. First published in Le Monde. Translated by David Broder. 

    From Corbusier's Le Modulor 1.  

    At the same moment that the Pompidou Centre inaugurated its exhibition on Le Corbusier in April 2015, there appeared three books looking back to the architect’s fascist propensities. Startled as reality suddenly broke through, the organisers decided to refer the question to a conference that would be held in late 2016, as did indeed take place on 23-24 November of this year. However, certain authors very critical of Le Corbusier were not allowed to participate. And anyway, why organise a conference when we need only read the numerous writings of the author of La Ville radieuse to be struck by the constancy of his totalitarian intentions? The conference amounted to nothing more than a sham.

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  • The Israel-Palestine Conflict: A Reading List

    On Friday 23rd December the UN passed a resolution demanding a stop to Israeli settlement in the occupied territories as, in a shock move, the US refused to veto the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exploded, calling it a 'declaration of war' (having recently been granted a $38 billion military aid package by the US), and Secretary of State John Kerry criticised Israel's approach to the peace process. But with Trump tweeting that Israel should 'stay strong' until his inauguration, progress still seems unlikely.

    Verso presents a list of books from Israeli, Palestinian, and anti-imperialist authors, to explain the conflict and provide some perspectives on the future. 

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