The Pyramids of Gaza
The pyramids of Gaza, so a Forensic Architect once told me, proliferate throughout the Strip, but are most commonly seen in the camps and neighborhoods that ring Gaza City and along the short border to Egypt. They are the result, he said, of an encounter between two familiar elements in the area—a three-story residential building, of the kind that provides a home for refugees, and an armored Caterpillar D9 bull- dozer. While the bulldozer circles the building, its short shovel can reach and topple only the peripheral columns. The internal columns are left intact, forming the peak of the pyramid.The floor slabs break at their approximate center, around the crest, then fold down and outward to form the faces of the structure.The geometry of the pyramids of Gaza is less ideal than that of the Pyramids of Giza.Their irregularities regis- ter differences in the process of construction— the uneven spread of concrete, for example— or in the process of destruction—the inability (or reluctance) of the bulldozer operator to go completely around the building. Sometimes, the irregularity is a result of a previous firefight or a tank shell, shot at a corner of the building to hasten the departure of its inhabitants. Near the border, one can sometimes see a fallen pyramid that has sunk into a collapsed tunnel. Partially exposed under the fine sands of Rafah, the scene resembles that of a colonial-era archaeo- logical expedition.
Forensic Architecture: Notes from Fields and Forums
Eyal Weizam
a the beggar and mother on Flickr.

a the beggar and mother on Flickr.

(…)
‘O look, look in the mirror,
O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.

'O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.’

It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.

W. H. Auden, As I Walked Out One Evening
13thwitness:

Paris part three. (Taken with instagram)

13thwitness:

Paris part three. (Taken with instagram)

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim ,

The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

(…)

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

W. H. Auden, September 1, 1939
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Rubicon on Architecture (& Libya)

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