Infrastructures as the Social in Action: An Interview with Ronen Shamir

  • Ezgican Özdemir Central European University
  • Amina Nolte
Keywords: Infrastructure, Israel/Palestine, Materiality, Actor-Network, Colonialism


In the following interview, Ronen Shamir discusses the theoretical and methodological implications of researching infrastructure against the background of his own work on electrification in Mandatory Palestine. He draws our attention to the (post-)colonial genealogies of infrastructure and their role in shaping not just the common perceptions of a region called “Middle East”, but also manufacturing/creating/ producing/constructing this region by means material and social (dis-)connections. Throughout the interview, Shamir stresses on how infrastructural systems shape people’s everyday experiences with their physical surroundings. His emphasis points to the understanding of infrastructure as processes of assembling and disassembling people, everyday objects.

We invited Ronen Shamir to this interview in order to put his work into a critical dialogue/exchange with the papers featured in this issue. As a prominent scholar of colonial infrastructure, we are convinced that his work and his insights point to issues that are discussed throughout this issue.

How to Cite
Özdemir, E., and A. Nolte. “Infrastructures As the Social in Action: An Interview With Ronen Shamir”. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, Vol. 10, June 2018, pp. 53-58, doi:10.17192/meta.2018.10.7731.