# Mid-Progress / Thursday 21st October

The Israeli colonization of the West Bank implements itself by various spatial and architectural means. The civilian settlements and the separation barrier, both violating the International Law are the most expressive examples of such physical occupation. However, one other major mean of oppression over the Palestinian people is bureaucratic and depends essentially on the fact that 60% of the West Bank is contained in the area C in which the Israeli army exercises an absolute control over security (by its presence), movement (by checkpoints and private roads), planning and construction (by the interdiction for Palestinians to build and the systematization of destruction of Palestinian buildings).

This project therefore intends to elaborate a strategy of construction of a building which is both built and used by the two populations which suffers from the Israeli occupation: Palestinians and Bedouins. In fact, this project proposes a negotiation between those two very different peoples who share only their daily suffering caused by the Israeli colonization. While this building can be used by Palestinians as an agricultural platform and temporary dwelling (a Qasr), Bedouins can appropriate it as a caravansary for their animals and themselves as an episode of their continuous movement between the islands of the Palestinian Archipelago (area A where Palestinians own a relative autonomy is in fact fragmented in a multitude of little “islands” of territory).

The architectural vocabulary of this building recounts this negotiation and associates the Bedouins’ textile language with the solid and thick aspects of Palestinian architecture. The tents are the first elements set on site in order to camouflage the excavation of the earth for the dwelling to exist. Meanwhile an undercover trench is also dig in order to link the illegal -illegal here is used in the transcendental definition of the power embodied by the Israeli army- construction site with a decoy one situated two hundred meters away in the area A. The excavation done, a slow construction made out of concrete, dirt and stones is accomplished every night to eventually achieve an “indestructible” architecture that fulfill the intentions expressed above.

The building can only be revealed by the improbable withdrawing of the Israeli army from the West Bank or a more likely attack and evacuation of the IDF on this building. In this second scenario, an attempted destruction of it is effectuated, symptomatic of a more or less conscious will from the Israeli State to absolutely make disappear any Palestinian impact on the land as we observed with the total annihilation of the Arab villages on the Israeli territory after the Naqba in 1948.  To exist becomes therefore to resist, and the impossibility of a total destruction of this architecture is, despite its evacuation, represents an expressive resistance to the Israeli colonization. With time, the building becomes more and more an integral part of the land, dust, stones and vegetations thus appropriating the former structure that became a manifesto of existence.


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