School of Architecture


    The concept of an observatory on symbolic violence derives from the ascertainment that the occupation of the West Bank engenders a less obvious violence against Palestinian culture and identity. Symbolic violence was first defined by Pierre Bourdieu concerning societies that were not undergoing any kind of obvious armed conflict. Symbolic violence does not only reside in outstanding events but mainly in daily life, when nothing significant happens. It corresponds to the insidious “drop by drop” politics of occupation. The suffering resulting from symbolic violence is instilled at a small dose but constantly and is therefore characterised through a normalisation of the situation. Prevalent through Palestinian society, symbolic violence can be seen in architecture, the control of space as well as narratives on space. This project will be further linked with the issue of resilience of the Palestinian inhabitants of the Old City. The extension of the observatory to other places in the World such as Colombia, Tibet and France is in process.


    • Piquard, B. (2007) "The Politics of the West Bank Wall: Symbolic Violence and Spaciocide" in Swenarton M., Troiani I., Webster H. (eds.), The Politics of Making, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 25-35.
    • Piquard, B. (2007) "Paintings, Murals and Graffiti on the West Bank Wall: Coping Mechanisns and acts of Resilience" in Van Teeffelen T; (ed.), Challenging the Wall, Towards a Pedagogy of Hope, Culture and Palestine Series, Bethlehem, OPT, pp. 111-120.
    • Piquard, B. & Grindsted, A. (2009) "Urban Spaces and Crises", Universitad de Deusto Press, Spain.
    • Piquard, B. & Swenarton, M. (eds) "Architecture and Conflict", Journal of Architecture, Taylor & Francis; London, 2011.