Skip to main content
Register here

16 September 2021 - 16 September 2021

4:00PM - 5:30PM

Online via Zoom

  • Free

Share page:

All talks are free and open to the public.

This is the image alt text

Shale oil rig in a field

'Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine'

Based on my book, Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine, this talk offers an analysis unusual in the study of Palestine: it begins with the environmental, infrastructural, and aesthetic context in which Palestinians forge their lives, naming that context a “waste siege.” I argue that to speak of waste siege is to describe a series of conditions, from smelling wastes to negotiating military infrastructures, from biopolitical forms of colonial rule to experiences of governmental abandonment, from obvious targets of resistance to confusion over responsibility for the burdensome objects of daily life. I focus on waste as an experience of everyday life that is continuous with, but not a result only of, occupation. Tracing Palestinians' experiences of wastes over the past decade, and their improvisations for mitigating the effects of this siege, I consider how multiple authorities governing the West Bank—including municipalities, the Palestinian Authority, international aid organisations, and Israel—rule by waste siege, whether intentionally or not. The talk depicts waste's constant returns. It thus challenges both common formulations of waste as "matter out of place" and as the ontological opposite of the environment, by suggesting instead that waste siege be understood as an ecology of "matter with no place to go." Waste siege thus not only describes a stateless Palestine, but also becomes a metaphor for our besieged planet.

The talk will be chaired by Dr Yael Almog (Durham).

The zoom link will be sent out via the mailing list of the Centre for Culture and Ecology (normally on Tuesdays before the event). You can be added to the list by emailing

If you want to join for just this talk, you can register via the form here.