Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts


Sharon Rotbard / White City, Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa

The history of Tel Aviv, presented for a moment as an architectural history, can be seen as a part of a wider process in which the physical shaping of Tel Aviv and its political and cultural construction are intertwined, and plays a decisive role in the construction of the case, the alibi, and the apologetics of the Jewish settlement across the country.
White City, Black City
In 2004, the city of Tel Aviv was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site, an exemplar of modernism in architecture and town planning. Today, the Hebrew city of Tel Aviv gleams white against the desert sky, its Bauhaus-inspired architecture betraying few traces of what came before it: the Arab city of Jaffa. In White City, Black City, the Israeli architect and author Sharon Rotbard offers two intertwining narratives, that of colonized and colonizer. It is also a story of a decades-long campaign of architectural and cultural historical revision that cast Tel Aviv as a modernist “white city” emerging fully formed from the dunes while ignoring its real foundation—the obliteration of Jaffa. Rotbard shows that Tel Aviv was not, as a famous poem has it, built “from sea foam and clouds” but born in Jaffa and shaped according to its relation to Jaffa. His account is not only about architecture but also about war, destruction, Zionist agendas, erasure, and the erasure of the erasure.
Rotbard tells how Tel Aviv has seen Jaffa as an inverted reflection of itself—not shining and white but nocturnal, criminal, dirty: a “black city.” Jaffa lost its language, its history, and its architecture; Tel Aviv constructed its creation myth. White City, Black City—hailed upon its publication in Israel as ”path-breaking,” “brilliant,” and “a masterpiece”—promises to become the central text on Tel Aviv.

Pluto Press (UK) - January 20, 2015
The MIT Press (US) - February 5, 2015


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi / Satyagraha in South Africa

At last, Gandhi's second autobiographic book is now available in Hebrew.
Published originally in 1928,  Satyagraha in South Africa recounts Gandhi's formative 21 years in South Africa. Gandhi arrived to South Africa in 1893 as a young lawyer on the invitation of a wealthy Indian Muslim businessman with the purpose of helping him negotiating a minor commercial conflict. When he left South Africa in 1914 and headed to India, he was already  known all over the world as Mahatma (Great Soul) Gandhi, a national and spiritual leader.

The Hebrew edition was translated by Matan Kaminer, a former refusenik, political activist and anthropologist, prefaced by Yohanan Grinshpon from the Hebrew University, author of many books about Gandhi and India and post-faced by Shimon Lev, an artist and scholar, author of the book Soulmates about Gandhi's friendship with the Jewish architect Herman Kallenbach. The book was published by Babel, in the new non-fiction series directed by Sharon Rotbard.
An English online edition of the book is available here.


Laurie Baker / Mud

Laurence Wilfred "Laurie" Baker (2 March 1917 – 1 April 2007) was a British-born Indian architect, renowned for his initiatives in cost-effective energy-efficient architecture and for his unique space utilisation and simple but aesthetic sensibility. Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, he sought to incorporate simple designs with local materials and achieved fame with his approach to sustainable architecture as well as in organic architecture. He has been called the "Gandhi of architecture".[1]
He moved to India in 1945 in part as an architect associated with a leprosy mission and continued to live and work in India for over 50 years. He became an Indian citizen in 1989 and resided in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala from 1963 and founded an organization called COSTFORD (Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development) to spread awareness in low-cost housing.
In 1990, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in recognition of his meritorious service in the field of architecture. (source:


SABA Halvad project is GOING PUBLIC

Our SABA 2011 Halvad project features in a new book edited by R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, S. Borges and L. Feireiss, published by Gestalten in Berlin.
The book, titled Going Public: Public Architecture, Urbanism and Interventions - the creative revival of public space "showcases the creative revival of public space in our urban and rural landscapes. The book’s compelling selection of formal and informal interventions, reclamations, and architecture illustrates the current scope and interest in refashioning and repurposing our built environment for public use. The objectives of the featured examples are as diverse as the projects themselves and range from inspiring communication and community experience to devising new means of gathering in and connecting to nature."