Capital of Resistance : Occupied Hebron as Heterotopia
This thesis examines the processes of production, consumption and representation of the old city of Hebron, West Bank, Palestine as an ‘other space’ or heterotopia, that is, as a space that deviates from normality and is tainted by contradictions, shifting meanings and notions of “otherness”. I argue that there are several representations of space present in these processes as different actors and agents relate to, make use of and accumulate different kinds of capital from the old city. Previous studies on Palestine often focus on occupation and resistance but fail to problematize the ways in which these concepts are classed, gendered, localized, globalized and involved in several interrelating systems of meaning. Having done fieldwork with Palestinian and international NGOs, volunteers, activists, tourists guides and tourists I now aim to relate their representations of the old city to that of old city residents and discuss how space and power might be understood in a process of capitalizing from an occupied zone and the emplacement of a ‘deviant’ population within it. I suggest that to better understand the everyday life of occupation we have to deconstruct romanticized notions of Palestinian and Hebronite resistance and occupation and trace the ways these concepts are socially and spatially (re)created.
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