Architecture and urban planning organizations stand in solidarity for Palestine

Architecture and urban planning organizations stand in solidarity for Palestine

Architects and Planners Against Apartheid

May 24, 2021
Architecture and urban planning organizations stand in solidarity for Palestine

We recognise that architecture and urban planning are both the means and the ends of Israeli settler colonialism and state terror. As architects and planners, it is our moral and ethical duty to acknowledge that the tools of our profession have been co-opted to violate the legal rights of the Palestinian people.

Over the last weeks we have witnessed the destruction and massacre carried out in Gaza. We watched bombs collapse multi-storey buildings, destroying the headquarters of news organisations, homes, and businesses. We have seen soldiers and settlers ethnically cleanse neighbourhoods of Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah. We have seen cultural institutions tear-gassed and raided, while libraries, schools, and hospitals have been burned and destroyed. Armed supremacist mobs lynched Palestinians on live television, and destroyed Palestinian homes and businesses while protected by the police. Livelihoods have been shattered.

In the West Bank, the ongoing expansion of illegal settlements strategically fragments the Palestinian landscape, cutting through neighbourhoods and separating people from their families and lands. In Gaza an entire population is incarcerated in an open-air prison enclosed by concrete walls and gun towers. Gazans are denied basic services. They are even denied the opportunity to rebuild what has been destroyed. In the Naqab, Bedouin villages are crushed by bulldozers forcing their inhabitants off ancestral lands. In Jerusalem, state-sponsored apartheid planning aims to expel the remaining Palestinian residents from the city.

We refuse to be silent as tens of thousands of innocent people are dispossessed and hundreds more killed.

We hear and amplify the calls for solidarity emanating from the Palestinian people and their allies around the world as they strive for freedom.

We join the Palestinian people in their immense sorrow and anger and stand alongside of them in their struggle against apartheid, colonization and state oppression.

We support the right to resist ongoing Israeli settler colonial occupation and its destruction of indigenous Palestinian lands.

We learn from a long history of struggles against racist oppression and their continuation in the present. We believe that the fight against white supremacy, colonialism and anti-Semitism are inseparable.

We welcome those who have expressed their horror at the violence being wrought on Palestine and its people. And we acknowledge those who have publicly announced their support for and solidarity with the Palestinian struggle as inseparable from struggles against racism, patriarchy, and settler colonial violence worldwide.

As a result of this, countless institutions, organisations and groups are joining the chorus of voices now demanding an end to Israeli occupation.

In the last years a profound change has swept through architectural and planning education. A recognition of our complicity in settler colonialism, incarceration and white supremacy is resulting in calls for decolonisation, abolition, indigenous rights and class consciousness. We welcome this change and its impact on curricula, studios, and lecture series across the world as architects and planners begin to center anti-racist, social justice and political liberation movements.

We call on everyone to recognise that these injustices are not just abstract or historical; they are active, ongoing and nowhere more embodied than in the Palestinian movement for liberation confronting the Israeli settler colonial state.

We recognise that architecture and planning continue to be used by Israel to consolidate and extend its illegal occupation of Palestinian land through:

● The state-sanctioned execution of Palestinian people
● The violent expulsion and dispossession of Palestinian people
● The deliberate maiming of Palestinian bodies
● The denial of access to health and education services
● The collective punishment of the Palestinian people
● The systematic destruction of Palestinian homes
● The expansion of Israeli settlements against international law
● The racial segregation of roads and infrastructure
● The fragmentation of the Palestinian territory
● The siege, indiscriminate destruction and massacres in Gaza

As architecture and planning educators, we oppose the apartheid policies of the Israeli settler colonial state. We commit to amplify the voices, stories, and histories of Palestinian people in their struggle for justice and freedom from occupation, through the following:

1. Pressuring our institutions to support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions and refusing to engage in partnerships with entities that enact or implement Israel’s apartheid policies.
2. Supporting student, faculty and staff activism for justice in Palestine.
3. Holding accountable those who undermine academic freedom within our institution by silencing, threatening or bullying students, staff, and faculty who speak up against Israeli State violence.
4. As we teach about architecture and planning’s complicity in settler colonialism and apartheid, we commit to teaching about Palestine by centering Palestinian scholarship and experience.

Signed by:

1. School of Architecture, Royal College of Art
2. Forensic Architecture
3. Storefront for Art and Architecture
4. African Futures Institute
5. Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London
7. Suzanne Hall, David Madden, Fran Tonkiss, Cities Programme, LSE
8. The Funambulist
9. Keller Easterling, Director of MED Program, Yale University
10. Future Architecture Platform
11. Felicity Scott and Mark Wasiuta, Directors of CCCP Program, Columbia University GSAPP
12. Mark Raymond, Director of the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
13. Columbia Books on Architecture and the City
14. Settler Colonial City Project
15. Dark Matter University
16. National College of Arts, Lahore
17. Decolonizing Architecture Art Research (DAAR)
18. Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Studies (DAAS), Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm
19. CCC RP, HEAD Genève
20. Hugh Campbell, Head of UCD Architecture, Dublin
21. UVW-Section of Architectural Workers
22. Michael Askin, Chair of the Department of Art, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University
23. Weiping Wu, Leah Meisterlin, Hiba Bou Akar, Urban Planning Program, Columbia University GSAPP
24. Beirut Urban Lab
25. The Avery Review
26. Who Builds Your Architecture? [WBYA?]
27. IZK Institute for Contemporary Art, Architecture Faculty, TU Graz
28. Dpr-barcelona
29. Pelin Tan, Arazi Assembly, Spatial Research Collective, Mardin
30. Silent University
31. Daniel A. Barber, Chair of PhD Program in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania
32. Centre for Urban Conflicts Research Cambridge
33. MAK Center for Art and Architecture
34. Materials & Applications
35. Mario Gooden and Mabel O. Wilson, Directors of Global Africa Lab, Columbia University GSAPP
36. Arab Urbanism Collective
37. Design As Protest Collective
38. Spatial Practices at Central Saint Martins UAL
39. Atelier Mob
40. Working with the 99%
41. Punkto
42. Malini Ranganathan, Interim Faculty Director, Antiracist Research and Policy Center, American University
43. USC Price PhD Association
44. Esther Choi, Founding Director, Office Hours
45. Planners of Color Interest Group (POCIG)
46. Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski, Co-Founders, Loudreaders
47. The Architecture Lobby
48. Ross Adams and Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco, Program Directors, Bard Architecture
49. School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada, India
50. School of Environment and Architecture, Mumbai, India
51. Eduardo Rega Calvo, Founder, Architectures of Refusal
52. Esra Akcan, Samia Henni, Medina Lasansky, History of Architecture and Urban Development (HAUD) PhD Program, Cornell University
53. Slought Foundation
54. Public Works Studio, Beirut, Lebanon
55. Palestine Regeneration Team, UK (PART)
56. Planners Network
57. Ergosfera, A Coruña, Spain
58. Andres Jaque, Director of Advanced Architectural Design Program, Columbia University
59. Nora Akawi and Eduardo Rega Calvo, Co-Founders, Interim Projects
60. GSAPP Collective for Beirut
61. Hollow Forms
62. The Architecture Lobby - London Chapter
63. Theatrum Mundi
64. Cairobserver
65. Francesco Sebregondi, INDEX
66. Aziza Chaouni, Principal, Aziza Chaouni Projects
67. Kush Patel, Ashley Caranto Morford, Arun Jacob, Co-Facilitators, Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed Collective
68. Failed Architecture
69. Ediciones ARQ, Santiago, Chile
70. UC School of Architecture, Santiago, Chile
71. PIE
72. Nadeen Hassan, Soany Marquez, Chaerin Kim, Co-Founders, Primaverarch
73. Baucircus
74. Nick Axel, Head of Department, Architectural Design, Gerrit Rietveld Academie
75. Jeffrey L. Day, FAIA, Director, FACT
76. Architecture after Architecture research group at CSM/TUB
77. Sumaila Palla, Head of Department, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture
78. Reza Nik, Founding Director, SHEEEP
79. Pidgin Magazine, Princeton School of Architecture
80. Aishah Azman, Director, formed by DA
81. Mawane
82. Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Director, Columbia University Center for the Study of Social Difference working group, Insurgent Domesticities
83. Research Laboratory State, Labor, Territory and Nature at the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning and Research / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
84. Izzy Carrera, Brianne Dimalanta, Jordan Chiang, Cherry Tsang, Student Leadership, National Association of Minority Landscape Architects (NAMLA) - Cal Poly SLO
85. Beatrice Galilee, Executive Director, The World Around
86. Emanuel Admassu and Jen Wood, Founding Partners, AD—WO
87. Marina Otero, Program Head, MS Social Design, Design Academy Eindhoven
88. Sudan Architecture Forum(SAF)
89. Ilze and Heinrich Wolff, Founders/directors, Wolff Architects Cape Town
90. Tesserae Urban Social Research
91. L Hršak, Bureau LADA
92. Jeannie Kim, Director, Architectural Studies, University of Toronto
93. Akil & Seth Scafe-Smith, Co-Directors, RESOLVE Collective
94. Mason White, Professor and Director of Post-Professional Program, University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty
95. Steve Hollenhorst, PhD, Dean, Huxley College of the Environment / Nicholas Zaferatos, PhD, AICP, Urban Planning Academic Program Administrator, Urban Planning and Sustainable Development Program, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University
96. Sean Connelly, Chris Leong, Dominic Leong, HAWAI‘I NON-LINEAR
97. College of Architecture and Urban Studies Student Coalition, Virginia Tech
98. National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) at Virginia Tech
99. American Institute of Architecture Students at Virginia Tech
100. Charlie Edmonds, Founder, Future Architects Front
101. Faid Mazin, Chair, Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture Fresh NSW
102. Robbani Amal Romis, Coordinator, Architecture Sans Frontieres Indonesia (ASF-ID)
103. Planning and Architecture Research Group (P+ARG), Taubman College, University of Michigan
104. Maria Nicanor, Executive Director, Rice Design Alliance
105. Ozayr Saloojee, Chair, M.Arch Program; Co-director, Carleton Urban Research Lab, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University
106. Rand El Haj Hasan, Founder, Kawamen Urban Think Tank
107. Jawad Dukhgan, Co-curator, Studio-X Amman
108. Nacym & Sihem Baghli, Founders, Djisr El Djazair
, Algiers
109. Jad Moghnieh, Student Representative, National Organisation of Minority Architecture Students - University of Houston
110. Zahira Asmal, Designing For All
111. Mehwish Abid, Landscape Architecture, Institute for Art & Culture, Lahore
112. Jeff Hou, Director, Urban Commons Lab, University of Washington
113. Ruken Aydoğdu, Diyarbakır Chamber of Architects
114. Andrea Verdecchia, Director, Time to Access
115. Food New York
116. M.E.D. Working Group for Anti-Racism, Yale University
117. Merve Gül Özokcu and İbrahim Emre Gündoğdu, Vice Chairman and Chairman, Herkes için Mimarlık Derneği (Architecture for All Association), Turkey
118. Lisbon Architecture Triennale
119. Jhono Bennett, Co-Founder & Co-Director, 1to1 - Agency of Engagement
120. OPPA for Research and Architecture
121. Marina Tabassum, Academic Director, Bengal Institute for Architecture Landscapes and Settlements 
123. Beatrice Leanza, Executive Director, Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon)
124. Shukri Sultan, Aoi Phillips, Siufan Adey, Thomas Aquilina, Josh Fenton, Samson Seyi Famusan and Nile Bridgeman, Cofounders, Afterparti
125. Erica Kim, Coordinator, Daniels Writing Center, University of Toronto
126. Alexandra Gonzalez, Hive Public Space, President and Cofounder 
127. Muslim Women in Architecture 
128. Hamed Bukhamseen & Ali Karimi, Principals, Civil Architecture
129. Studio Aliri
130. Adriana Allen, President, Hábitat International Coalition
131. Iker Gil, Founder, MAS Context
132. Mohamad Hafeda, Reem Charif, Co-founders, Febrik collective 
133. Aleta Toure, Cooperative Member, Parable of Sower Intentional Community Cooperative
134. Studio 39
135. Ines Weizman, Director, Centre for Documentary Architecture
136. Modern Sudan Collective (MSC)
137. Mena Wasti Ahmed, President, Harvard GSD Student Forum ‘21
138. Yale University’s Chapter of National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (Yale NOMAS)
139. Apolonija Sustersic, Head of Discursive Program, NJOKOBOK
140. Department of Art History and Visual Culture Studies, Whitman College
141. History of Architecture and Urbanism Society (HAUS), Cornell University
142. Joseph Altshuler, Editor-in-Chief, SOILED Magazine
143. Ahmed A. Mohamed Elhassan, Coordinator, M.Sc. Urban Design and Planning, University of Khartoum
144. Waled Shehata, Founding Member and Director, Cairo Heritage School
145. Takbir Fatima, Director, DesignAware
146. Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Benjamin Groothuijse, Founders, The Parity Front
147. Department of Architecture and Landscape, Kingston School of Art
148. 10 Tooba
149. Architects Climate Action Network
150. Sumayya Vally, Founder and Principal, Counterspace

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