Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of Politics and Government: Political Science
Extant literature on the Palestinian-Israeli separation wall privileges the wall's function in border-making, while ignoring other discursive and spacial functions it fulfills. My thesis reaches beyond the border-making function of the wall, resituating it as a node among different spacial networks of activism, tourism, and electronic media. My paper argues that Palestinian tactical use of graffiti on the separation wall traverses these spatial networks and provides a case for us to consider graffiti not only as a process which links these networks, but also as a discursive tool through which Palestinians appeal to transnational actors, particularly those who are complicit with and invested in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. A historical analysis of graffiti in Palestine reveals the ways in which political messages have changed from localized, national contexts (Peteet 1996) to what I argue are transnational messages which link up to the different transnational networks that are centered around the wall.
Drawing on De Certeau's (1988) concepts of strategy and tactic, my paper explores how transnational space is socially constructed around the wall. This dyad will be used to identify the wall as an Israeli strategy of controlling both Israeli and Palestinian space, while Palestinian resistance to and graffiti of the wall are examples of tactic. Sassen (2001), Castells (2012), and Fraser (2008) emphasize the importance of communications technologies in creating transnational networks and space. The ways in which images of the graffiti circulate in a transnational arena, especially through the use of internet, indicate the role of communications technologies, but decenters their importance in favor of the materiality of the wall and the networks that converge in it.
Toenjes, Ashley, "This Wall Speaks: Graffiti and the Location of Transnational Space Palestine" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 132.