The Social Life of Ruins in Israel / Palestine, 1882 to the Present
Join the Department of Sociology for an insightful online seminar with Dr Moriel Ram.
Dr Moriel Ram is a lecturer in politics of the Global South in Newcastle University. His main interests lie in the meeting points between politics, space, and matter. Past and present research include the militarisation of natural resources in contested territories in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
The infrastructure of faith and religion in conflicted urban environments and the emergence of new separation regimes in the Global South. As of January 2020, Mori is part of a research group which was awarded a grant by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. The three-year project studies the links of destruction and renewal by framing ruins as multi-dimensional public, social, and cultural problems and tracing the urban histories of ruination and recovery in the Middle East.
This online seminar will explore urban ruins and ruination in violent settler colonial settings through a close examination of Hebron/al-Khalil, the second-largest Palestinian city in the West Bank. In 1967 the city was occupied by Israel, and since then it is in a state of ongoing ruination on various scales.
Dr Ram will discuss Hebron as more than a palimpsest of ruins, where layers of material debris, memories and fantasies are intertwined, from ancient archaeological remains to recently demolished homes. On the one hand, he will analyse Hebron's ruins as scars of urban warfare, representing traces of violence, repression and neglect.
On the other hand, his contention would be to see the city's ruins as living tissues, in which and with which people dwell, live and act. By taking the material, sensual, and more than representational features of the ruins into account, he will look at ruins not only as an agglomeration of scars and rubbles but rather as part of what render Hebron in a permanent state of political becoming, between violence and resilience, destruction and construction.