Appropriating Division: Exploring ontologically how material artefacts command spatial differentiation in Israel-Palestine and Apartheid South Africa.

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

We understand ourselves on the basis of who we are not.
Within the frame of an unequal, yet integrated world
increasingly entrenched with social division, this
differential ontology is becoming more apparent.
Difference is woven into the social fabric of landscapes.
Emerging through hard borders: walls and fences and softer
materialities: cultural artefacts and banal symbols of
everyday life, political space is starkly separated, as
material objects work over the contours of physical
geography, creating and maintaining divided landscapes.
Yet these vibrant materialities have been neglected in
border studies. This project seeks to bring light to this and
explore how material artefacts command difference over
landscapes and borderscapes (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr,
2007), (re)producing our relationships to them. Territory
and ethnicity are the specific spatial differences compared
in this work, in the locales of contemporary Israel-Palestine
and Apartheid-era South Africa. Both offer landscapes
divided on lines beyond those drawn on a map, whilst
offering comparative variables for their occurrence.
Ultimately, the project looks at how human interaction with
objects reflects the imaginations they (re)produce. Namely,
if hegemonically powerful, an actor can have autonomy
over producing an object that inscribes into space a specific
discursive view. Conversely, those whose spatial anchors
are uprooted by the object, can appropriate it as a weapon
to mitigate the spatial effects.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000703/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2433193 Studentship ES/P000703/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2023 Merrill Hopper