Source: Visualizing Palestine,
The British empire was a geographic empire, sending teams of cartographers to survey and map their colonies. Palestine was one of the colonies, where the Survey of Palestine completed a series of detailed maps covering most of the land within the newly founded colonial borders. The Palestine Open Maps project collects these maps and makes them accessible in the most meaningful form. Those maps contain rare records of the urban fabric of most of the 500 towns and villages that were ethnically cleansed and destroyed by Zionist militias in order to create a Jewish majority on the land of Historic Palestine. However, this data is in analogue form, and cannot be used with standard GIS tools. Participants in this mapathon will contribute to a collective process of knowledge production by manually extracting data from the historical maps, as we reflect on the close engagement with archival cartographic artifacts and their modern counterparts.

Majd Al-Shihabi is a technologist and urban planner, and a PhD candidate in the Geography and Planning department, University of Toronto. His research explores the daily practice of democracy, particularly in the domain of knowledge production and climate action. His PhD project asks how cities could be built to foster human flourishing while promoting climate action at the municipal level. He is the co-founder of Palestine Open Maps, and the MASRAD Collective. He holds a Master’s degree in urban planning from the American University of Beirut, and a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Jessika Khazrik nurtures a plural, antimilitarist practice. Born in year 7291 of her grandmother‘s enduring calendar, raised in a club at the outskirts of Beirut and brought up in the vicinity of a quarry secretly contaminated by toxic waste, she has been making music, performing and DJing while being active in struggles for environmental justice and public science since early adolescence. She performs, exhibits, publishes, teaches and advises internationally. Khazrik holds BAs in Linguistics and in Theatre from the Lebanese University (LB) and a MS in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT (US) where she was awarded the Ada Lovelace prize. Jessika is the founder and caretaker of “Reading Computers قراءة الحواسيب”, Post-coronialism, “AATMA ✦ عتمة” and “خريطة الظلام Cartography of Darkness”.