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City Design (MA)

DS1 - Underground Palestine


Underground Palestine I: Archaeological sites in the West Bank are never frozen in time, they are living and breathing urban spaces. As public space is impossible to carve within the West Bank, Palestine, given the zoning laws imposed by the Israeli occupation, archaeological sites provide rare pockets of breathing room for children to play football, for teenagers to walk through tree groves in privacy, and for the elderly to establish popup shops for tourists visiting the sites. The studio explored the relationship between archaeological sites and urban struggle through a focused lens on the archaeological site northwest of the city of Nablus, Sebastia. The students projects revealed forgotten and censored histories from the archaeological archives and oral histories by creating a new virtual archive to retell the stories, designed a system of cafe structures that reuse rubble from what remains from previously destroyed cafes by the Israeli Occupation Forces, imagines a film where the archaeological artifacts speak for themselves, and deeply analyzes the forms of aerial and satellite censorship through the use of the pixel while reclaiming the pixel as an object protecting Palestinian protesters' identities. Each project was produced through multiple media and in collaboration with multiple people. In some cases the projects used geo mapping and drone footage and a conversation with the farmers, others used Adobe Premiere to edit moving images, and others used virtual reality and gaming engines to provide Palestinians in diaspora access to home.

Image: Caspar Zhang : Imagining the West Bank as an archipelago post flooding where liberation can be imagined.