Architecture and Power

This panel draws inspiration from W.J.T. Mitchell’s famous book of essays, “Landscape and Power” (1994) by examining representations of colonized place via banal landscapes as depicted in Israel. Three distinguished speakers – Tamar Berger, Naama Meishar, and Moriel Ram – will focus on techniques of colonialization in suburban and rural areas and how they might affect our reading of landscape and place.

Sergio Edelsztein will introduce the evening with a discussion about architecture as a manifestation of power and moderate a roundtable discussion after the panel (in Hebrew).

Tamar Berger will draw from her recently published book, “Autotopia: Suburban In-between Space in Israel” (2015), and survey how suburban architecture, planning, and daily life instill the aura of order, control, and banality – and how these are usurped by the settlements in the Occupied Territories. Naama Meishar will discuss the Zionist ideology of “greening” in urban landscape architecture in mixed cities. Moriel Ram will discuss his research on northern Israel and especially Mount Hermon’s branding as an “ordinary” western ski resort area as an attempt to mimic European “whiteness.” He’ll discuss the tensions and contradictions inherent in such colonial representations.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: Tamar Berger is an essayist and cultural researcher who studies Israeli urban culture. She teaches at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and at the Technion University. Her books include Dionysus at Dizingoff Center (1998), In the Space Between World and Playing (2008), and “Issues in Spacial Theory” (2010)

Naama Meishar is a postdoctoral fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics in the Tel Aviv University. She holds a Ph.D. from the Cultural Studies Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed her bachelor in landscape architecture at the Technion’s Faculty of Architecture. She practiced landscape architecture and was a curator of several landscape architecture and contemporary art exhibitions. Meishar teaches in the Technion’s Landscape Architecture Program.

Moriel Ram completed his PhD in Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and today he’s a postdoctoral at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Technion. He focuses on the process of normalization of disputed districts, in the spatial connection between trust and faith, and on the ways urban communities shape their communal identity.

Sergio Edelsztein is the Director and Chief Curator of the CCA.

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