Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture: Notes from Fields and Forums

Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture: Notes from Fields and Forums

The pyramids of Gaza, so a Forensic Architect once told me, proliferate throughout the Strip, but are most commonly seen in the camps and neighborhoods that ring Gaza City and along the short border to Egypt. They are the result, he said, of an encounter between two familiar elements in the area—a three-story residential building, of the kind that provides a home for refugees, and an armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer.

While the bulldozer circles the building, its short shovel can reach and topple only the peripheral columns. The internal columns are left intact, forming the peak of the pyramid. The floor slabs break at their approximate center, around the crest, then fold down and outward to form the faces of the structure. The geometry of the pyramids of Gaza is less ideal than that of the Pyramids of Giza. Their irregularities register differences in the process of construction—the uneven spread of concrete, for example—or in the process of destruction—the inability (or reluctance) of the bulldozer operator to go completely around the building. Sometimes, the irregularity is a result of a previous firefight or a tank shell, shot at a corner of the building to hasten the departure of its inhabitants. Near the border, one can sometimes see a fallen pyramid that has sunk into a collapsed tunnel. Partially exposed under the fine sands of Rafah, the scene resembles that of a colonial-era archaeological

Forensic Architecture: Notes from Fields and Forums

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 7th, 2012 at 1:06 pm
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