This article explores how urban settler-colonial landscapes are produced in the neoliberal era. Adopting an anti-colonial approach, the article addresses practices of landscape production through the history of Wadi Al-Salib in Haifa after the driving out of its inhabitants in 1948. A micro geographical study of three Palestinian refugees’ houses, sold by the state to private real estate companies during the last two decades, constitutes the empirical mainstay of the article. Located in Wadi Al-Salib where rapid neoliberal urban renewal schemes hope to raise property values and enact demographic change, these houses are often marketed to upper-class Israeli Jews as “authentic”. Such branding indicates that the privatization of the Palestinian refugees' houses may also signify privatization of the colonial imagination, and a broader shift of the landscape into a collage of marketable images, echoing an ‘aesthetic violence’ that evokes past colonial landscapes. Such references create several hyper-realities in the same place, thus canonizing colonial landscapes’ imaginaries.
- geographical imagination
- urban renewal