The Politics of Power around Qalandiya Checkpoint: Deconstructing the Prism of Im/mobility, Space, Time for Palestinian Commuters
East Jerusalem
disciplinary power
tactical power
docile bodies
resistant bodies
wasted time
survival time

This essay examines Palestinian im/mobility in the colonial context of the checkpoint. The essay offers a theoretical approach for studying the prism of im/mobility, space, and time at Qalandiya checkpoint through a Foucauldian/de Certeau framework of power. Based on Foucauldian analysis of disciplinary power, the essay examines im/mobility by examining the ways the Israeli checkpoint subjugates Palestinian bodies to produce “docile bodies” only to cause them “wasted time” waiting by Qalandiya checkpoint. The author approaches Palestinian commuters as the active subjects of power who act and are acted upon at the same time. Building on de Certeau’s theory of the everyday and focusing on the tactical power of the “weak,” the author explores Palestinian agency with the production of Palestinian “resistant bodies” at the checkpoint and the evolution of “survival time” during their mobility practices. The essay is enriched with the accounts of three Palestinian commuters to complement its theoretical insight. The author concludes with the need to build on this theoretical framework with a broad ethnographic study to develop a better understanding of mobility practices for Palestinian commuters at Qalandiya checkpoint.

Author biography: 

Reem Shraydeh holds an MA in media, campaigning, and social change from the University of Westminster, where she focused on the role of Palestinian mobility in shaping the Palestinian collective identity. She has also written about Palestinian artistic productions in Palestinian magazines such as Fusha and Rumman.

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