Video abstract – Mark Griffiths’s “Hope in Hebron: The Political Affects of Activism in a Strangled City”

Forthcoming in Antipode volume 49, issue 3 this June, and available online now, Mark Griffiths’s “Hope in Hebron: The Political Affects of Activism in a Strangled City” is the latest in a series of recent papers on the occupied Palestinian territories. Mark’s paper explores how:

…the negative affects of this violent occupation–fear, threat, humiliation–quell hope, setting limits on the potentials of political agency. This article documents the corporeality of the occupation in Hebron, evoking the body as materially contingent to explore agential capacities within the delimiting affects of the violent sensorium.

Drawing on fieldwork with Palestinian activists engaged in providing political tours of Hebron, I argue that by reappropriating the violent affects of occupation, this form of activism demonstrates and facilitates agency that resists “political depression”. Theoretically, I argue further, at hand is an empirical account of the “autonomy of affect” giving rise to critical hope amid a sensorium of fear.

The research presented, therefore, contributes to addressing a key question for resistance in Palestine (and beyond): how fear–a predominant affective register of contemporary politics–might be harnessed towards (renewed) political agency and potential resistance.

You can watch Mark talking about his research below, and read an abstract in Arabic here.

In Palestine, Mark (Environmental and Global Justice, Northumbria University / RELATE Centre of Excellence, University of Oulu) researches the political affects of the occupation in West Bank, tracking the embodied aspects of Palestinian activism and resistance. He also works in India, focusing on NGO and volunteer work on livelihood and sanitation projects in both urban and rural areas.

As well as Antipode, you can read his work in the Geographical Journal,  Social and Cultural GeographyArea, IdentitiesJournal of Sustainable Tourism, Tourist Studies and Emotion, Space and Society.

For more on life in occupied Palestinian territory, see:

Bodies That Walk, Bodies That Talk, Bodies That Love: Palestinian Women Refugees, Affectivity, and the Politics of the Ordinary by Ruba Salih

Gendering Palestinian Dispossession: Evaluating Land Loss in the West Bank by Caitlin Ryan

The Agnotology of Eviction in South Lebanon’s Palestinian Gatherings: How Institutional Ambiguity and Deliberate Ignorance Shape Sensitive Spaces by Nora Stel

Isolation Through Humanitarianism: Subaltern Geopolitics of the Siege on Gaza by Ron Smith

“Death comes knocking on the roof”: Thanatopolitics of Ethical Killing During Operation Protective Edge in Gaza by Mikko Joronen