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Architecture and Development: Israeli Construction in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Settler Colonial Imagination, 1958-1973

Author/EditorLevin, Ayala (Author)
ISBN: 9781478017882
Pub Date11/02/2022
BindingPaperback
Pages320
Dimensions (mm)254(h) * 178(w)
Ayala Levin charts the settler colonial imagination and practices that undergirded Israeli architectural development aid in Africa.
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In Architecture and Development Ayala Levin charts the settler colonial imagination and practices that undergirded Israeli architectural development aid in Africa. Focusing on the "golden age" of Israel's diplomatic relations in and throughout the continent from 1958 to 1973, Levin finds that Israel positioned itself as a developing-nation alternative in the competition over aid and influence between global North and global South. In analyses of the design and construction of prestigious governmental projects in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia, Levin details how architects, planners, and a trade union--owned construction company staged Israel as a new center of nonaligned expertise. These actors and professionals paradoxically capitalized on their settler colonial experience in Palestine, refashioning it as an alternative to Western colonial expertise. Levin traces how Israel became involved in the modernization of governance, education, and agriculture in Africa, as well as how African leaders chose to work with Israel to forge new South-South connections. In so doing, she offers new ways of understanding the role of architecture as a vehicle of postcolonial development and in the mobilization of development resources.

In Architecture and Development Ayala Levin charts the settler colonial imagination and practices that undergirded Israeli architectural development aid in Africa. Focusing on the "golden age" of Israel's diplomatic relations in and throughout the continent from 1958 to 1973, Levin finds that Israel positioned itself as a developing-nation alternative in the competition over aid and influence between global North and global South. In analyses of the design and construction of prestigious governmental projects in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia, Levin details how architects, planners, and a trade union--owned construction company staged Israel as a new center of nonaligned expertise. These actors and professionals paradoxically capitalized on their settler colonial experience in Palestine, refashioning it as an alternative to Western colonial expertise. Levin traces how Israel became involved in the modernization of governance, education, and agriculture in Africa, as well as how African leaders chose to work with Israel to forge new South-South connections. In so doing, she offers new ways of understanding the role of architecture as a vehicle of postcolonial development and in the mobilization of development resources.

Ayala Levin is Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles, and coeditor of Architecture in Development: Systems and the Emergence of the Global South.

Acknowledgments ix Introduction. Settler Colonial Expertise in the Theater of Development 1 1. Fast-Tracking the Nation-State: The Design and Construction of the Sierra Leone Parliament 25 2. Rootedness and Open-Ended Planning: The Sierra Leone National Urbanization Plan 68 3. Planning a Postcolonial University Campus: The University of Ife, Nigeria 97 4. Designing the University of Ife: Climate, Regeneration, and Ornament 125 5. Israeli Aid, Private Entrepreneurship, and Architectural Education in Addis Ababa 165 Postscript. Ghosts of Modernity 195 Notes 219 Bibliography 269 Index 295

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