Raja Shehadeh's Palestinian Walks and the Concrete Ecology of Settlement

Dickinson, Philip (2018) Raja Shehadeh's Palestinian Walks and the Concrete Ecology of Settlement. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 20 (2). pp. 294-307. ISSN 1369-801X

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This essay examines the significance of the practice of walking in Palestine through a reading of Raja Shehadeh's 2007 [Shehadeh, R. 2007. Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape. London: Profile] memoir, Palestinian Walks, alongside the built architecture of Israeli settlement. It develops a theory of the “concrete ecology”, a phrase that captures the deep human and extra-human entanglements that Shehadeh foregrounds in his decolonizing conception of a “grown together” and historically persistent land, and that registers the increasingly radical aspirations of the material architecture and infrastructure of Israeli settlement. Israeli settlement seeks not only to extend a territorial network but also to build an ecology that materializes the ethno-racial abstractions of colonial ideology, and it does so through the affordance of different possibilities of spatial practice and different senses of the world for Palestinians and Israelis. In this context, Shehadeh’s book elaborates the sarha (walk or roam) as a historically localized activity that emerges from, and reconnects to, land’s depth, its saturation with living, historical and communal presence.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Interventions on 10/03/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1369801X.2017.1293554
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17 Apr 2018 13:36
Last Modified:
07 Jun 2023 23:29