The state of Israel may have been officially founded in 1948, but at the same time the process of establishing it can be regarded as a long-term affair that is still waiting to be brought to a conclusion. It is a process of reconstruction following clearance, similar, in broad terms, to the process of demolishing an existing structure in order to make way for urban expansion.
In Atlas of the Conflict all the infographic tricks of the trade are employed to show us that process in a slim, Israel-shaped pocket format. The frontiers, the walls, the settlements, demographic developments, land ownership, land use, water management and land drainage, it’s all here, charted down to the minutest detail. Much of the book is concerned with the past forty years and the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. There are regular forays back into history, if need be as far as the kingdom of Canaan in the eleventh century BC.
Cross-references are given at the bottom of each page or spread. A lexicon on thinner paper rounds the book off and places many of the facts heaped up in the maps in a narrative context. The book uses two spot colours, blue for everything Israeli, brown for everything Palestinian. Likewise two ribbon bookmarks.
The panel thought that as an object the book had turned out a bit stiff, but they were impressed by how clearly the vast quantity of information was presented. As one member put it: ‘Just try doing it yourself sometime.’
Golden Letter, Best Book Design from all over the World, Leipzig 2011