An inquiry into the ways preservation projects are being appropriated in order to promote ideological and political agendas.
Preservation projects can be as emblematic as the destruction that induces them. Construction can be used both to reinforce a violent separation of the built environment and destroy the fabric of a former life.
The FAST conference will form an inquiry into the ways preservation projects are being appropriated by official institutions in order to promote ideological and political agendas. Some torn threads of antiquity include the destruction of Muslim history, religious monuments and buildings in Bosnia; the destruction of black history and heritage in South Africa under the apartheid regime; and the destruction and distortion of Palestinian past after the creation of the State of Israel.
A poignant example of this eradication of local memory is the village of Lifta* which lies just outside Jerusalem. The community has been abandoned since the Israeli army drove out the last of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948. Today Lifta is more or less a ghost town while, the former villagers live mainly in East Jerusalem and Ramallah. Now, however, a preservation project aims to turn Lifta into an expensive and exclusive Jewish residential area - erasing its history in the process.
When can destructions or appropriations of buildings be considered a crime against humanity?
During the conference the case of Lifta will be presented, analyzed and put into the perspective of other international planning and architecture projects.
Participating: Eitan Bronstein, Zvi Efrat, Khaldun Bshara, Ciraj Rassool, Shmuel Groag, Andrew Herscher, Ya’akub Udah, Malkit Shoshan and Lucas Verweij moderating.
When: 14 May 2006, 2 PM, De Balie, Amsterdam - Live broadcast
Adress: De Balie, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR, Amsterdam. Halte Leidseplein: Tram 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 en 10. Nachtbus 351, 352, 353, 354, 356 en 358. Tickets reservations: Tel. 020 55 35 100.
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