Category Archives: Critical Speculation

In its broadest sense, ‘critical speculation’ could be described as the creative application of detailed knowledge of the spatial conflict in a manner devised to expose its fault-lines and to provoke critical debate and practice. As an example, the act of design – ‘paper architecture’ – allows for the selective adherence to (or subversion of) the political and legal constraints of the dominant spatial regime. In turn, this defines a platform on which to propose future plans (provocative, aspirational or eminently realisable), to frame alternative narratives of the present, or simply to extrapolate the logic of the dominant forces to their ultimate spatial conclusion.

On Strategies of Spatial Appropriation and Resistance in Palestine

By Ahmad Barclay and Dena Qaddumi This article was originally posted on opendemocracy.net as part of the Cities in Conflict Series. The establishment of the village Bab Al-Shams (“gate of the sun”) on 11 January 2013 represented a new evolution in the unfolding patterns of […]

Considering the Political Agency of Residual Landscapes in the West Bank

by Suzanne Harris-Brandts Amidst a series of dramatic events in recent weeks, the Palestinian strife of living under Israeli occupation for close to half a century has once again entered global media attention. Contributing to the headlines were two new Israeli announcements of Jewish-only settlement […]

Re:LIFTA, Within the Right to Plan is the Right to Imagine Return

By Mahdi Sabbagh Lifta digital art exhibition poster (Collective MIP) A picturesque ascent overlooking Wadi el-Shami greets every car driving from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem. The valley is dotted with trees and shrubbery, adorned with a family of stone houses. Those familiar with Palestine’s […]

This Place They Dried From The Sea: An Interview with Kamal Aljafari

By Nasrin Himada This interview originally appeared on Montreal Serai. It is re-published on arenaofspeculation.org with kind permission. For those based in the UK, the film Port of Memory will be screened in London later this month — including a Q&A with director Kamal Aljafari […]

Playing in a Landscape of Separation Lines and Practices

By Idit Elia Nathan ‘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 […]

Weaponized Architecture: A Discussion with Léopold Lambert

The following is an interview with Léopold Lambert (@TheFunambulist_), author of ‘Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Innocence’ (published by dpr-barcelona), a new publication that offers an analysis of Israel’s architecture of colonization in the context of global trends in architecture and urbanism, and uses architectural […]

Strategies in bypass urbanism

After September? Strategies in Bypass Urbanism

With the much-vaunted month of September 2011 now behind us, and the Palestinian Authority’s statehood recognition drive presently forestalled by UN bureaucracy, perhaps it is a good time to turn our eyes back to the situation on the ground. As yet another settlement expansion receives […]

A 'Manual of Decolonization'

Palestine: Between Spatial Realities and Engaging the Imagination

by Ahmad Barclay and Dena Qaddumi This article was originally published on Jadaliyya as a part of the recent roundtable in response to ‘Occupation Law and the One State Reality’ by Darryl Li, which was featured on this site last month. You can read the […]

Return to Kufr Bir'im

Why not Return? Towards Return of Palestinian Refugees

by Eitan Bronstein This Thursday, 15th September, a remarkable exhibition will open in Tel-Aviv, seeking to engage head-on with the legacy of the Palestinian Nakba. Curated by Zochrot and entitled ‘Towards return of Palestinian refugees’, the exhibition brings together a collection of projects that engage […]

Deterritorializing the Palestinian Parliament

Common Assembly: Deterritorializing the Palestinian Parliament

In their latest project, DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) investigate the site of the abandoned ‘Palestinian Parliament’ building in East Jerusalem, attempting to spatialise questions of democratic representation within a ‘deterritorialized’ Palestinian diaspora, and to imagine an ‘extra-territorial’ space of assembly “that is able to […]

Alessandro Petti at TEDxRamallah

Decolonizing the Mind: TEDxRamallah Talk by Alessandro Petti

Alessandro Petti, director of DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), talks about the work and approach of the practice. The talk was a part of the TEDxRamallah event, previously featured on arenaofspeculation.org and supported by contributors to the site. The DAAR office was founded in 2007 […]

Counter-Mapping Return

Counter-Mapping Return: Towards Transforming Imagined Geographies into Reality

Following the events of May 15th, grassroots activists and community organisations have chosen June 5th – Naksa Day, the anniversary commemorating the displacement of thousands of Palestinians during the 1967 War – as an occasion for further mobilisation towards actively asserting the Palestinan right to […]