12 February 2014

Anita Bakshi Liveblog

Anita Bakshi
Is green always good? Landscapes of division and silence
(Note: as a live blog on a politically contested territory, I want to apologize in advance for notes that misconstrue Dr. Bakshi's comments with provocative links and comments that are probably unintentional)

In early 20th Century Jerusalem, Charles Robert Ashbee proposed eliminating some of the historic structures to create more enhanced views and green space. In part, this plan was based on his hope to return the city to what he called “the most perfect, medieval enceinte in existence.”

The area has areas called Mewat land, seen as unclaimed. But even village lands are contested, since the land outside of a village wall is seen as essential by the Palestinian village but available or unused by Israel.

Another type of land in these areas is the Peace Forest which is examined more closely in a documentary film called The Village Under the Forest.

Proposals for national parks become contentious for a variety of reasons. One of the examples was the City of David property which can be linked with a larger network of similar lands.

Our sense of connection and movement through connected lands is very different in our region than it is in Israel and Palestine. As such, evaluations of proposals (like the proposed Mount of Olives National Park) have to be considered from different perspectives than just those with which we might approach the situation.

Even neighborhoods, like Walaja, become contested territory.

Landscape as heritage
Mostar Bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina 
Yad Vashem

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