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Destruction and Return in al-Araqib
Institute of Contemporary Arts
December 2022
Negev/Naqab Desert, Israel/Palestine, 2010 – ongoing
(Investigation 2015 – ongoing)

Israeli authorities have claimed that the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev/Naqab Desert did not exist prior to the establishment of the Israeli state, and that the villagers are trespassers. Collaborating with local families, Forensic Architecture analysed British Royal Air Force aerial photographs from 1945 (taken more than three years before Israel’s establishment), and compared them with a ground level archaeological survey, contemporary aerial images generated by cameras attached to kites, and photogrammetic models, to establish the historical continuity of Bedouin inhabitation.

The evidence established in this project is currently being prepared towards a legal petition for a land claim trial by the al-Turi family of al-Araqib, to be presented by advocate Michael Sfrad.

Presented in the context of the Truth Commission on the Responsibility of Israeli Society for the Events of 1948–1960 in the South.
Project team: Eyal Weizman (Principal Investigator), Ariel Caine (Project Coordinator), Franc Camps Febrer, Omar Ferwati, Christina Varvia, Nicholas Masterton Footage from Unrecognised Forum by Alina Schmuch and Jan Kiesswetter
Collaborators: The village of al-Araqib; Zochrot; Public Lab, Sayakh al-Turi, Aziz al-Turi, and Nuri al-Uqbi / al-Araqib; Umar al-Ghubari and Debbie Farber / Zochrot; Hagit Keysar / Public Lab; Oren Ziv and Yotam Ronen / ActiveStills; Miki Kratsman, Oren Yiftachel, ‘Conflict Shorelines’ course at Princeton University; MA in Forensic Architecture at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Thanks to: Yeela Raanan / RCUV