The Conflict Shoreline: Colonialism as Climate Change

Mar 20, 2015

Abstract:Colonial cartographers and administrators have continuously attempted to define “environmental thresholds” within empire. This lecture will speak about attempts at scientifically defining, measuring and mapping the “aridity line” as the threshold of the desert from the Ottoman period through the period of European colonisation to the present. The engagement and measurement of the desert threshold is important because imperial and later national governments saw climate change as the very goal of colonisation, as they tried to expand the limits of arable lands, make the climate more familiar to European sensibilities and bring the nomads under state control. … My aim will be to show that climate change is not only the collateral, unintentional side effect of the good intention of modernisation and industrialisation but is the very aim of colonial modernity. The lecture will trace this debate through a trial of the small village of Al Arakib in the Beduin Naqb in Israel, following the counter forensic methods of “forensic architecture.”About the speaker: Professor Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths College, University of London) is Professor of Visual Cultures and Director of the Centre for Research  Architecture, Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author (among other books) of  Hollow Land: The Architecture of Israeli Occupation (2007), The Least of All Possible Evils:  Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza (2012), and co-editor of Forensis: An Architecture of Public Truth (2014).Michael Ames Theatre, Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver