A guest post from Lisa Tilley. Lisa is a GEM Doctoral Fellow at Warwick and ULB. Her research has taken place in sites of extraction (urban slums and rural settlements) in Indonesia and draws on political ecology and political economy, as well as postcolonial and decolonial thought. An earlier version of this post is also available at the wonderful new resource that is Global Social Theory.
If this farm had not been ravaged
I could have become an olive tree
or a geography teacher
or an expert of the kingdom of ants
or a guardian of echoes
– From Mahmoud Darwish’s The Dice Player (visual version here)
Writing/Speaking/Thinking the Global Palestine
The settler colonial condition can be fully understood only by those who live it. But the rest of us can at least bear witness in the place (Palestine) where it is most legible.
Since the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948 when 800,000 Palestinians were expelled and 536 towns and villages were deleted from the map the fast and slow erasure of Palestine has continued as an active political project. Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann encapsulated the unrelenting strategy of everyday dispossession in the phrase: “another goat and another acre”. This has been paralleled too by fast and slow memoricide, the deleting of the artistic, historical and cultural existence of Palestine. Tahrir Hamdi calls these the “two movements” of erasure, the cultural and the material. Two movements working not towards the goal of Palestine no longer is but towards the goal of Palestine never was.
Doing a geography conference (ICCG) in Ramallah was therefore an organised act of defiance against Palestinian erasure (“Welcome to Palestine […] its geography lives”). Continue reading