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Title: Acts of spatial violation : constructing the political inside the Palestinian refugee camp
Author: Maqusi, Samar
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5496
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Palestinian refugee camps as sites of exceptional political practice has been excessively established in scholarly work (Agamben, Agier, Khalili, Hanafi). What is missing is a true architectural mapping in the field to be able to spatially understand how this space operates the political exception it resides within. My PhD research directly tackles the politics of architecture and spatial practices –exercised by both the refugees and their host governments-- inside two specific Palestinian refugee camps, one each in Jordan and Lebanon. Ambitious fieldwork and critical mapping of the spatial chronology in each camp has been conducted throughout the PhD process. The fieldwork also included spatial interventions which directly addressed what shaped the Palestinian camp beginning from the relief-scale –-a defined 100m2 rectangle, being the UN’s official standard for individual housing plots within the camps—, tracing its transformation over 69 years of protracted asylum into a scale which transgresses the 100m2 plot boundary, stripping the camp from its relief scale and re-appropriating it as a truly Palestinian one. It is in this, beyond the 100m2, where I claim the political resides in the camp as form, scale, and practice, which is termed in Arabic as ta’addi (encroach, exceed, violate), and which I reinterpret here as spatial violation. Drawing on from my working experience for UNWRA, and from now being a PhD by Design student engaged in proposing designs for these camps, my thesis aims to unravel the impact of host-government policies on the physical form of these camps, examining in particular the issues of control and vulnerability. Furthermore, I will be proposing an alternative method for analysing these Palestinian camp-spaces, as well as suggesting new tools for designing and creating the necessary spatial interventions that can enhance the self-determination of refugees and the potential of their camp-spaces to offer resistance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available