Jaffa amid Theoretical Transformations: Demolition as a Research Prism
post-colonial/colonial city

This essay argues that the theories and terminologies deriving from paradigms of “colonial” and “post-colonial” cities marginalize some aspects of the structural violence that Palestinians experience in coastal cities of Palestine within the 1949 Armistice demarcation or Green Line, particularly in Jaffa. These theories often preclude the tracing of power structures and the escalating violence against spaces and society. This results in the literature dealing with the Palestinian city either as a historical space, which often explores Jaffa before the Nakba, or as part of the globalized present without framing it, either historically or politically. Consequently, this essay proposes to use “demolition,” a concept that stems from Jaffa’s reality, as a prism. It focuses on different forms of demolition through micro-geographical research on three houses in various neighborhoods in Jaffa, each embodying different aspects of “demolition.”

Author biography: 

Yara Sa'di-Ibraheem is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion, Haifa. Her research fields include Indigenous geographies and time, settler colonialism, neoliberal urbanism, infrastructure urbanism, and comparative urbanism