Building Sumud

Principal Investigator(s): Dr Brigitte Piquard


Project start: September 2011

About us

The Building Sumud Project is an action-research initiative focusing on the occupation of space and on acts of resilience adopted by Old City Hebronites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

‘Sumud’ (Arabic) which translates as ‘steadfast or perseverance’ is a non-violent Palestinian ideology which aims to circumvent the occupation by developing alternative routines, institutions and practices through which to mitigate its effects.

The Building Sumud Project is founded on the ethos of multidisciplinary research and has a specific emphasis on the social and spatial consequences of violent environments. Through monitoring the interaction between the social and environmental impacts of the occupation and acts of Sumud, the project aims to highlight and implement architectural and social interventions towards conflict transformation. The creation of a local team of researchers and observers is an essential result of this project. Based on this methodology, the project strives to develop capabilities that can be transferable to other cities in the Palestinian Territories or elsewhere.

People crossing Gilo Checkpoint at Bethlehem (OPT) 2012

Research impact

The project has three aims:

  • To contribute to the research areas of home and place attachment, hardship, symbolic violence, coping strategies and adaptability.
  • The practical conceptualisation of these research areas in order to translate research into empowering strategies.
  • The creative conceptualisation of multidisciplinary research linking design projects and artistic initiatives to strengthen interdisciplinary cooperation.


Brigitte Piquard

Dr Brigitte Piquard

Reader in Humanitarianism and Conflict

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