In this ZUG-Minisymposium, Mona Bieling will present an overview over her dissertation entitled “Landscape and Power in Mandate Palestine, 1917-1948”.
In this study, she examines four different types of landscape changes to show how environmental practices influence power relations by enabling new forms of access and control over land, sovereignty, and rights.
Her dissertation shows that man-made landscape changes are crucial for understanding human relationships in colonial and imperial spaces, including in nascent conflict zones such as Palestine-Israel. Landscape changes in mandatory Palestine influenced both Zionist-British and Zionist-Arab relationships by manifesting and transferring power and revealing underlying cultural convictions and political goals. Both Zionist ideology and the British imperial worldview became imprinted onto the Palestinian environment through, for example, afforestation and soil erosion policies.
Ms. Bieling will discuss these dynamics based on four different case studies: land reclamation techniques, forestry, the industrial development of the Dead Sea, and Hebrew University Jerusalem’s botanical garden.