Urban landscape as battleground

I thought Eyal Weizman’s article was fascinating and presents a really strong argument as to how conflict in urban spaces changes our perceptions of what is considered inside/outside, and also how critical theory is used to destabilize borders.

In trying to apply the new wars thesis to Weizman’s article, one could say that warfare has changed dramatically. But so too is the urban space. Because of new technology that prevents soldiers to go outside without being seen/shot, fighting in Nablus took place indoors, and through that, took on a new logic: doors were now forbidden to pass through, and walls were seen as passageways. It suggests the totalizing force of warfare–that it changes (or maybe even corrupts) everything it touches. And not just by turning cities into ruins (because that has always happened throughout history) but by turning the very conception of a city inside out. By seeing how space is distorted by war, it makes me wonder what happens when the conflict is gone. How do cities rebuild themselves after new-war-conflicts? Will it be the same as old-war-conflicts?

I’d also like to call attention to how brilliantly Weizman connects the idea of a destabilized wall to the idea of a permeable nation border. Critical theory can be used to refine military tactics, but it can also be appropriated to justify how a nation exerts military force over an area outside their borders.

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