Dr Deen Sharif Sharp (LSE) and Dr Salem Al Qudwa (Harvard University)
‘Open Gaza: Architectures of hope’
This seminar celebrates the launch of a new book -- Open Gaza (American University of Cairo Press, 2021). Spatially speaking, the Gaza Strip is a hyper-dense string of Palestinian cities and refugee camps whose geographic smallness belies its global import. Implicating an international web of geopolitical interests (most saliently those of Israel, which effectively encircles it), it is also the subject of this new volume from Urban Research, the imprint of urban think tank Terreform, founded by the late architect and critic Michael Sorkin, who died in 2020. (One of Sorkin’s last works, the book is dedicated to him.)
Co-edited by Sorkin and Deen Sharp, the contributions collated in the book range from architectural accounts of uniquely Gazan typologies to speculative visions of future development trajectories in the beleaguered territory. Gaza’s resilience in the face of abject desperation has long inspired the international community, making it a highly salient crucible in discussions of spatial justice, occasionally to the point of abstraction. Privileging 'substantive change', Sharp and Sorkin suggest any 'imaginative pitch' for Gaza must prioritise the recovery of its people’s agency and humanity. Oscillating between the poetic and the academic, the historical and the current, Open Gaza promises to be more than just another installment of armchair solutionism for the oft-discussed but rarely aided Strip.
- Deen Sharif Sharp (The London School of Economics and Political Sciences)
- Salem Al Qudwa (The London School of Economics and Political Sciences)
Entry requirements: N/A