"All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?" – Rumi

Biopolitics and UNRWA

This post follows from this one here called What’s in a Name? The bare life of Palestinian Refugees. I suggest you read that before starting this one if you already haven’t!

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The politicization of bare life, as Agamben calls it, is where the actual humanity of the living being is decided. The realm of bare life, originally found at the margins of political order, now coincides with the political realm. This is nowhere truer than in the case of these people who find themselves in UNRWA camps. Agamben follows Arendt’s steps when he talks about how the concentration camps were the laboratories in the total domination of the human form. In a similar light, even though obviously in a very different way and with opposite intents, the refugee camp can be seen as a more modern expression of the same thing.

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Missed chances, luck and the fairy godmother

Yes, the fairy godmother bit was a trick to make this post seem interesting. What this post is really about is about missed chances, luck and ill-health. It’s about whether I care for my own health more than I care for the world, for justice, or whatever we wish to call it. Read the rest of this entry »

Exhibit 3: The Slacktivist

The Weird and Wonderful: World Wide Web

Saving the World, One Click at a Time

You can easily spot the Slacktivist by the manner in which he scrolls past post after Facebook (or Tumblr, or Twitter, or Pinterest, or Reddit…) post with the characteristic sleep-deprived gaze filming his eyes. At any moment he is liable to pause, allowing his lower jaw and hand to drop in indignation at the atrocities of the world.

With the precision of a well-trained pseudo social activist, he reaches for the…left mouse button. He clicks ‘Share’ (or ‘reblog’, or ‘retweet’, or ‘repin’), adding his own comments, with the occasional caps lock for emphasis: “This is TERRIBLE, guys! We have to DO something about this! LIKE or SHARE to show your support for (so and so) cause!!!”

Some of his friends sigh as his post appears in their feeds. His family members cringe in embarrassment. Not again.

But there are those less well-informed…

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What’s in a name? The bare life of stateless Palestinians in a world of not-so-human rights.

“…What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”
Romeo and Juliet

“…I have learnt and distmantled all the words to construct a single one: Home”
Mahmoud Darwish

This post would like to be an original and creative space for the imagination to jump in and out of refugee-dom as a concept and splash about making noise. Its starting point is that unquestionably labelling those Palestinians who find themselves eternally separated from their original pre-1948 family homes as refugees does nothing to shed light on ‘their story’.

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Nonsense (following from previous post)

This is an imaginary unspoken dialogue that you can interpret as between an omniscient immortal wise old fountain of knowledge (in my mind he sort of looks halfway between Foucault and Russel Crowe, weird, I know) and an alien from another planet. Or maybe a Palestinian who was frozen in 1947 and reawakens unable to understand his surroundings. Imagine him as you wish. Slowly defrosting, he learns about the structures that have been articulated around him, his history and future. What would we need to tell him, teach him, update him on, to make this reality intelligible? If a painter wanted to paint it, what colours would we give him?

Location: An empty white room, transparent but dense concepts floating about in a scenario reminiscent of the Architect in the Matrix 😛 . Only one thing written on the ceiling with thick ink: PALESTINIAN REFUGEE. The ceiling is high. The writing is blurred. We can’t really see it well. One lonesome ant ‘walking’ around in circles, up and down the walls and ceilings.

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I woke up one morning and the world around me had changed. I remember my home was gone, but a mental vacuum had engulfed me. What was a country? What was the camp? People around me talked about rations, return, refugees. I just heard a lot of Rs. Onomatopoeia, they call it. It makes sense, cause all those Rs make me shiverrr. Surely there must be a link.

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Our recent visit to Palestine – immanence, revolutionary spirit and death of the political soul

On our recent visit to Palestine my emotions were shaken. I have been literally obsessing about how to make the world a better place for now about 15 years, and yes I started young. Somehow making the world a better place has become the only escape out of the unanswerable questions that haunt our existence (or mine at least, maybe you are luckier..!) such as why do we exist and what are we doing on this planet, in this galaxy, in this space of possibilities where we took a human (or not so human, for some of us haha) form.

So..after about 15 years of worrying, planning, looking inside my soul and my CV to see in what ways I could be most useful to the planet I’ve realised that perhaps, as silly as it can seem, the best contribution I can make to the world is making a succulent meal for my husband. As naive, self-elevating and whatelse this sounds I feel free enough to be able to say that yes, the thing I enjoy the most at the moment is making my husband drool while I cook and see the sheer face of satisfaction once he tries the occasional special meal I make. I don’t mean this in a self denigrating patriarchal way. I can do whatever I want – I am currently doing everything that an educated privileged citizen of this world can do but

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Conclusion to “The Wretched of the Earth” – Franz Fanon

Come, then, comrades; it would be as well to decide at once to change our ways. We must shake off the heavy darkness in which we were plunged, and leave it behind. The new day which is already at hand must find us firm, prudent and resolute.

We must leave our dreams and abandon our old beliefs and friendships of the time before life began. Let us waste no time in sterile litanies and nauseating mimicry. Leave this Europe where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the corner of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe. For centuries they have stifled almost the whole of humanity in the name of a so-called spiritual experience. Look at them today swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration.

And yet it may be said that Europe has been successful in as much as everything that she has attempted has succeeded.

Europe undertook the leadership of the world with ardour, cynicism and violence. Look at how the shadow of her palaces stretches out ever farther! Every one of her movements has burst the bounds of space and thought. Europe has declined all humility and all modesty; but she has also set her face against all solicitude and all tenderness.

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