For over half a century now, imaging, surveying, mapping, terra-forming and afforestation have played a central role in the ongoing expropriation and obfuscation of Palestinian Bedouin land in the Naqab. While use of these techno-professional mechanisms could be traced throughout the colonial history of this region to the present day, It is at the same time, from this intersection of these image archives and emerging computational optical systems that new modes of intervention and resistance practice can arise. In this short paper I wish to follow two lines of inquiry. On the one hand, look into the ways in which aerial and remote sensing has been made operative by Israeli authorities, academic experts and specifically by the right wing organisation Regavim against the Palestinian Bedouin claims for land-rights. Secondly, through Forensic Architecture’s Ground Truth project I wish to demonstrate how DIY participatory image production and spatial photography can become a counter-dominant mode of practice that allows us to re-frame our understanding of photography, survey and witnessing .
* The full paper can be accessed here