Combined Action: Aerial Imagery and the Urban Landscape in Interwar Palestine, 1918-40
Institute for Palestine Studies
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Abusaada, N. (2020). Combined Action: Aerial Imagery and the Urban Landscape in Interwar Palestine, 1918-40. Jerusalem Quarterly, (81), 20-36. https://www.palestine-studies.org/en/node/1650011
The advent of aerial photography in World War I brought to Palestine not only a new conception of warfare, but also a new method for understanding the urban landscape and urban subjects. This paper traces the history of the intertwinement of the rise aerial photography with the shifting interpretations of Palestine’s natural and built environment from a "biblical landscape" to a "scientific landscape" in the interwar period. To do this, it relies on a critical reading of textual and visual historical materials obtained from the Australian War Museum, Bavarian State Archives, British Library, and Israel State Archives, and on published materials by German and British technicians and officials from the interwar period. The paper is divided into three primary sections that examine: first, the initial British and German aerial practices in connection to the war effort during the Great War and the significance of the Palestine Front for the invention of new methods for the landscape’s scientific investigation; second, the development of a ‘combined action’ strategy on the basis of air-ground intercommunication to serve British imperial interests in the Mandate period and; finally, the case of the 1936 British destruction of the Old City in Jaffa as one of the most explicit examples for the relationship between aerial representations and the imperial transformation of urban landscapes.
External link: https://www.palestine-studies.org/en/node/1650011
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/315060
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