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Spaces of the slow wounding in Palestine

Authors: Mikko Joronen*, Tampere University
Topics: Political Geography, Middle East
Keywords: slow violence, vulnerability, wounding, Palestine, precarisation, colonialism, West Bank
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper is an attempt to elaborate a peculiar form of power; the one based on slowness, or what is here called ‘slow wounding’. It starts by exploring several mundane, often unspectacular encounters in a strangulated West Bank site struggling with Israel’s colonisation policies, hence painting a nuanced picture on how wounding time functions through the spatialisation of power and vulnerability. This not only helps in thinking slowness through the spatially imminent ways of encounter, but also forces us to reconsider how governing through slowness becomes possible in the first place. Regarding the latter, it is shown how the power of slowness remains embedded to what consist of our fundamental exposure to a wound of living. Such exposure doesn’t merely name the vulnerability of life to power, but also the vulnerability of power itself, thus unearthing the way in which questions of power and politics are always entwined around life’s incurable proneness to a wound – the wound of being a living being. This, it is suggested, helps in comprehending those manifold everyday techniques through which slowness works by operationalising time through space and space through time, but also in rethinking the impossibility of power – its failure to govern and its inherent incapacity to force Palestinian lives under the established (b)orders.

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