The postcolonial state has a “confused” existence as it attempts to recover the formerly colonized’s indigeneity while also grasping at a modern future shaped by the colonizer. This pathology is palpably evident in its spatial schemes that lead to newly planned cities that have indigenous names for streets and monuments dedicated to folk heroes, while also replicating a colonial “brand” of modernity in the design and planning of the urban landscape. In this chapter, I argue that while Palestine inhabits a settler colonial condition, the pathological confusion of the postcolonial state has already taken root in Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in the West Bank in 2016, I demonstrate that Rawabi consciously replicates the design and planning of Israeli settlements and replicate a brand of urban modernity presumably pioneered by the colonizer. However, the large Palestinian flag at the welcome area of Rawabi and a monument signifying the Palestinian indigenous claim to the land are also meant to underline the city’s Palestinian-ness. In this sense, I therefore conclude, Rawabi is a spatial microcosm of the “confused” postcolonial Palestinian state, oscillating between the search of an indigeneity unfettered by the colonized present while also grasping at a form of modernity that is shaped by the legacies of the colonizer.
|Altered States : The Remaking of the Political in the Arab World
|Sune Haugbølle, Mark LeVine
|9781032134093 (hbk), 9781032134147 (pbk)
|Udgivet - 2022
|Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government