Privatizing the production of settler-colonial landscapes: Imaginative geography in Wadi Al-Salib, Haifa

Authors: Yara Sa'di-Ibraheem*,
Topics: Political Geography, Urban Geography, Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: Indigenous geographies, imaginative geography, settler-colonialism, neoliberal planning, Palestine-Israel
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This poster illustrates a study on how urban settler-colonial landscapes are produced in the neoliberal era. It addresses practices of landscape production through the history of Wadi Al-Salib in Haifa after the driving out of its inhabitants in the 1948 war. In the last two decades, the refugees’ houses, controlled by Israel, are sold or demolished as part of rapid neoliberal urban renewal schemes. The case of Wadi Al-Salib and the detailed histories of three refugees' properties in it, is a telling example of a place put on waiting for several decades and turned once again into an economic and political frontier, yet this time by private real estate companies. Arguably, the neoliberal urban renewal in a settler-colonial setting also signifies the privatization of the colonial imagination and a broader shift of the landscape into a collage of marketable images that evokes past colonial landscapes. Such references create several hyper-realities in the same place, thus canonizing colonial landscapes’ imaginaries. Hence, the study attempts to expand the understanding of the ‘imaginative geography’ of landscapes today and the reproduction of frontiers in settler-colonial settings.

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