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Yair Wallach


Urban Scars, An Unfinished Essay: Jaffa/Tel Aviv

[Image from author's archive]

Urban scars, cutting deep into the flesh of the city. Lines of division that linger through the civic body, long after their political and social meaning was lost. Areas of inexplicable void within a thriving city. Areas that are constantly on the drawing tables of architects and city planners, who seek to redeem the past, to bring closure to whatever conflict there were, to move on, god dammit. The property value is huge. The return on investment promising. So why do they ...

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Yair Wallach


Yair Wallach is a historian, researcher and writer. Originally from Jerusalem, he has lived in London since 2003.  His academic work centers on everyday manifestations of the contested nature of modernity in Israel/Palestine. Yair's PhD (Birkbeck, 2008) examined Arabic and Hebrew "urban texts" - graffiti, street signs and stone inscriptions - in modern Jerusalem 1858-1948.  His screenplay, "Station", on the late-Ottoman railway station of Jerusalem, won an honourable mention in the MIT 2008 Just Jerusalem competition. He is currently a research associate at the University of Cambridge, in the ESRC research programme "Conflict in Cities", where he studies the possibilities and meanings of "shared space" in Jerusalem and other contested cities.