The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU Working Paper - No. 212

Home as a place of resistance: Radical care practices of determination, the case of East Jerusalem

DPU Working Paper - No. 212

1 April 2022

By Carlotta Trippa

As a result of over fifty years of occupation, Palestinian housing infrastructure in East Jerusalem is undergoing a dramatic crisis. Because construction permits are released by the Israeli government with an ethnic bias, Palestinian people build houses in lack of a legal permit and risk the threat of demolition in order to make a home in their city. With every-year raising numbers of home demolitions ordered by the Israeli regime, the contested nature of the city is traumatically affecting families, individuals and communities’ experience of the domestic.

Within this context, this paper uses feminist geography, sociology and critical design theories to understand Palestinian families’ forms of resistance practiced during the process of home demolition. The research articulates around the triad of care, radicality and infrastructure, to open new perspectives on the state and development of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and at the same time learning from it.

Following a dialectic Gramscian framing of political and hegemonic regimes, the analysis will be divided into two main sections respectively corresponding to a reading of Israeli dominant power forces and exercise (chapter 3), and Palestinian counter-forces of subaltern resistance through the stories of three families who faced home demolition (chapter 4).

Beyond the more represented episodes of military resistance, there are either conscious or unconscious counter-forces at play within the space of the home driven by feelings of affection, protection and hope and manifested by practises of caring and maintaining a certain living environment in the midst of injustice.

Based on this acknowledgment, this Working Paper argues that these overlooked forms of spatial protest happening at the scale of the domestic are equally responsible for shaping the course of the conflict, intersecting with the uneventful practices of everyday maintaining and repairing a mode of inhabitancy.

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