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Gabriel Schwake

Lessons from the urbanisation of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Michaelmas 2021-2022

Tuesday, 2 November 2021


This session will share ‘Privatised (De)Colonisation’ uses current suburbanisation and urbanisation patterns of Palestinian Citizens of Israel as a prism to study and critically analyse new modes of decolonisation. While laissez-faire proponents depict the market economy as a colour-blind and inclusive agenda, it has been repeatedly shown that neoliberalism forms one of the main allies of ethnic-based political agendas, especially in settler-colonial contexts. Nevertheless, this lecture asks to challenge this conception by detecting gaps in privatised colonisation. Therefore, it brings forward the framework of privatised decolonialisation, while examining contemporary attempts of Palestinians to cope, oppose and defy the Israeli model of spatial development through neoliberalism.

Accordingly, this lecture identifies and discusses three current phenomena taking place in Israel/Palestine - decolonising suburbanisation, decolonising gentrification, and financialised decolonisation. Examining these phenomena, and how they simultaneously defy ethnic-based segregation and promote economic-based exclusion, we will be asking whether the nihilistic acts of pursuing suburban quality of life, individualistic self-fulfilment, and profit-oriented real estate endeavours could indeed constitute examples of decolonisation.


Gabriel Schwake is a Lecturer at the Sheffield School of Architecture. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Tel Aviv University and obtained his PhD from TU Delft. Gabriel is the author of the forthcoming book 'Dwelling on the Green Line: privatise and rule in Israel/Palestine' (Cambridge University Press) and several articles published in Cities, Planning Perspectives, Space and Polity, Architecture and Culture, the Journal of Architecture and Political Geography.

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