The Common Camp

Architecture of Power and Resistance in Israel–Palestine

2022
Author:

Irit Katz

Seeing the camp as a persistent political instrument in Israel–Palestine and beyond

Focusing on the geopolitical complexity of Israel–Palestine and the dramatic changes it has experienced during the past century, The Common Camp explores the region’s extensive networks of camps and their existence as both a tool of colonial power and a makeshift space of resistance. Bringing together a broad range of historical and ethnographic materials within the context of this singular yet versatile entity, the book locates the camp at the core of modern societies and how they change and transform.

The Common Camp underscores the role of the camp as a spatial instrument employed for reshaping, controlling, and struggling over specific territories and populations. Focusing on the geopolitical complexity of Israel–Palestine and the dramatic changes it has experienced during the past century, this book explores the region’s extensive networks of camps and their existence as both a tool of colonial power and a makeshift space of resistance.

Examining various forms of camps devised by and for Zionist settlers, Palestinian refugees, asylum seekers, and other groups, Irit Katz demonstrates how the camp serves as a common thread in shaping lands and lives of subjects from across the political spectrum. Analyzing the architectural and political evolution of the camp as a modern instrument engaged by colonial and national powers (as well as those opposing them), Katz offers a unique perspective on the dynamics of Israel–Palestine, highlighting how spatial transience has become permanent in the ongoing story of this contested territory.

The Common Camp presents a novel approach to the concept of the camp, detailing its varied history as an apparatus used for population containment and territorial expansion as well as a space of everyday life and subversive political action. Bringing together a broad range of historical and ethnographic materials within the context of this singular yet versatile entity, the book locates the camp at the core of modern societies and how they change and transform.

Irit Katz is assistant professor of architecture and urban studies at the University of Cambridge and Bye-Fellow of Christ’s College.

Contents

Glossary

Introduction: The Common Camp

1. The Camp Reconfigured: Modernity’s Versatile Architecture of Power

2. Facilitating Double Colonialism: British and Zionist Camps in Mandatory Palestine

3. Gathering, Absorbing, and Reordering the Diaspora: Immigrant and Transit Camps of Israel’s Early Statehood

4. Forced Pioneering: Settling Israel’s Frontiers

5. Unrecognized Order: The Imposed Camp-ness of the Negev/Naqab Bedouin

6. Camping, Decamping, Encamping: Palestinian Refugee and Protest Camps and Israeli Settler Camps in the Occupied Territories

7. In the Desert Penal Colony: Holot Detention Camp for African Asylum Seekers

Conclusion, or Toward an Ever-Emerging Theory of the Camp

Acknowledgments

Notes

Index