Dwelling on the Green Line with Gabriel Schwake

In this episode I discussed with Gabriel Schwake his latest book Dwelling on the Green Line, looking at the question of Israeli settlements built around the Green Line separating Israel and Palestine. Concealed within the walls of settlements along the Green-Line, the border between Israel and the occupied West-Bank, is a complex history of territoriality, privatisation and multifaceted class dynamics. Since the late 1970s, the state aimed to expand the heavily populated coastal area eastwards into the occupied Palestinian territories, granting favoured groups of individuals, developers and entrepreneurs the ability to influence the formation of built space as a means to continuously develop and settle national frontiers. As these settlements developed, they became a physical manifestation of the relationship between the political interest to control space and the ability to form it. Telling a socio-political and economic story from an architectural and urban history perspective, Gabriel Schwake tells us how this production of space can be seen not only as a cultural phenomenon, but also as one that is deeply entangled with geopolitical agendas. Lastly we discussed the red roofs, today associated with the settlements in the West Bank, but with a longer and unexpected history.

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