n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Guarded visions : walls, watchtowers and warped perspectives in the Israeli occupied West Bank Palestinian territory

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



This paper examines the relationship between Israel's fortification of physical space and narratives of division in the Israeli occupied Palestinian West Bank Territory. I argue that the fortification and separation of physical space deepens segregation, and increases fear, hostility and disconnection between people living in this context. Furthermore, I suggest that this relationship between narratives of division and insecurity and structural mechanisms of control within the West Bank influences and impacts on individuals such that personal perspectives become guarded and defensive. The mediation of subjects through a defensive lens can prevent individuals from forming connections that acknowledge the permeability of seemingly impenetrable distinctions between inside and outside, or self and an-other. The looking, recording and representation of people in a place that is guarded and framed from a position of insecurity reduces the capacity of individuals to locate openings that traverse restrictive boundaries. In order to contextualise my discussion, I have included personal documentation of defensive structures photographed in the West Bank between 2013 and 2014. I position my observations and analyses in relation to discussions about the Oush Grab Military Base presented by the Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) in their recent publication Architecture after revolution (2013).

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