Occupied Intimacies: Borderization in Palestine, Georgia and Western Sahara
About the project
This anthropological project is about contemporary military occupations and their effects on the everyday lives of people under their rule. Occupations have often been seen as temporary, related to wars or change of governance. Today, however, several occupations seem permanent in their protraction. People under occupation are placed in prolonged liminality in which political dominance is exercised not only through military or bureaucratic measures but also in and through intimate relations.
Our point of departure, confirmed by our own as well as others' research, is that occupations influence people’s intimate relations in families and kin groups, among friends and within couples in both expected and unexpected ways, relying on a variety of direct and indirect strategies and tactics as to control people. This research investigates intimate relations and everyday life under occupation, using ethnography as its main method and attempting to show the interactions between micro- and macro-politics.
We will compare three cases of on-going and disputed military occupations: the Russian occupation of the Georgian territory of South Ossetia, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. The novelty of this project lies primarily in its comparative perspective, which allows us to reconceptualise ‘occupation’ as a complex and changing process that creates dominance and subordination as well as resistance, obedience and apathy.