Platform for City Culture and Public Debate


Domicide: The Killing of Home

with Ammar Azzouz, Omar Ferwati & Katherine Fortin

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Date: Tuesday 28 May 2024
Time: 20:00 (drinks from 19:30)
Location: Independent School, Delftsestraat 33
Admission: 10,- (regular), €6,- (reduced)
Language: English

In the current Gaza war, as much as 40% of the housing has been damaged or destroyed, with over 1.8 million people internally displaced. The destruction of more than a third of Gaza’s homes is leading international legal experts to raise the concept of “domicide” – the mass destruction of dwellings to make the territory uninhabitable. This concept is increasingly accepted in academia but is not a distinct crime against humanity under international law.

On 28 May we welcome British-Syrian architect and researcher Ammar Azzouz, author of the acclaimed Domicide: Architecture, War, and the Destruction of Home in Syria (2023). In this book, Azzouz draws on the pain inflicted on his hometown of Homs, Syria, offering a blueprint for other urban areas of conflict across the world. From Aleppo to Mosul, Mali to Mariupol, to the ongoing destruction of Gaza, cities have been the epicenter of this type of violence. So what is the impact of domicide on the cultural and social fabric of these societies? What is the psychological and emotional toll on individuals and communities? And how can we prevent or resist domicide and rebuild what has been lost?

For the subsequent panel discussion, Azzouz will be joined by Omar Ferwati, Head of Research Management at Forensic Architecture, and Katharine Fortin, Associate Professor at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, University of Utrecht.


Ammar Azzouz

Ammar Azzouz is a British Academy Research Fellow at University of Oxford. He is the author of Domicide: Architecture, War and the Destruction of Home in Syria (Bloomsbury, 2023). Azzouz is the Principal Investigator of Slow Violence and the City, a research project that examines the impact of violence on the built environment at the time of war and peace. He has written for a wide range of platforms including the New York Times, the Guardian, and the New Statesman. He left Syria in 2011 to escape the war and now lives in London.

Katharine Fortin

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, University of Utrecht, where she teaches international humanitarian law and international human rights law. She is the Editor in Chief of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights and founder and editor of the Armed Groups and International Law blog. Her book ‘The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law’, published by the OUP in August 2017, won the Lieber Prize in 2018.

Omar Ferwati

Omar Ferwati is the Head of Research Management at Forensic Architecture, where he is involved in developing and applying spatial methods for human rights investigations. His investigations have ranged from airstrikes and colonial violence in Palestine to environmental racism in Namibia. His own research is currently about how civilians use architecture to survive urban warfare and other crises. He trained as an architect in Canada and has worked at several architecture practices internationally.

Nuria Ribas Costa

Nuria Ribas Costa is a Spanish Journalist and Jurist based between Rotterdam and Ibiza, her homeland. Formerly at OMA, she currently works as an independent researcher and policy analyst in the fields of urbanism and culture. She is part of urbanism agency Humankind, research group Vigla, the Center for Music Ecosystems and De Dépendance. She is interested in the relationships rural-urban, the politics of space and land and intersectionality in urbanism.

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