Research Project
Towards a New Approach of Urban History in Conflict Zones: The Case Study of Khan Younis in Gaza Strip

Research Project
Fatina Abreek-Zubiedat

In urban studies and architectural historiographies cities in conflict are constituted and analyzed as situated at the tense junction between the politics of state and the politics of cultural history. In this respect, cities such as Gaza, Hebron, Nablus, Haifa, Acre and Nazareth become central to the discussion of architecture as derived from violence or ethno-national conflict – a space of negation or differentiation of national citizenship. Their centrality is a by-product of the conflict, or rather, the image the conflict has managed to affix to them in the aftermath of the wars, particularly of 1948 and 1967. The existing studies on cities in conflict tend to situate urban space in a field of governmental power and spatial regulation.
This study aims to augment the existing body of research by bringing two separate viewpoints together: one is the claim of indigenous studies, or specifically “critical” indigenous studies, which challenges settler colonialism, and becomes in itself a way of producing knowledge; and the other is a view of architecture as cultural production that participates in shaping urban and national politics. This dual approach allows us to grant cities their urban history. The development of the city of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip between the 1967 and 1993 will be taken as a case study.

This project has been funded by a Rotschild Fellowship.


Prof. Dr. Tom Avermaete