Contestant Spaces

“Social spaces where cultures meet, clash and grapple with each other, often in context of highly asymmetrical relations of power. “

Mary Louise Pratt

A conflict that started off with innocent immigrations, has led to one of the most scarring conflicts in the history and present of the world, the Israel and Palestine conflict. a piece of land, the Giza strip, has become a contested space for two cultures, going back to the roots religion. The cause of the space becoming can be broken down into symbolism of the place for both the cultures and both their rightful claims.

When something moves further beyond power politics towards affecting lives in a large scale is a contested space to me.

The situation and whether the Israelis or the Arabs are right in their approach or not is not something that I wouldn’t  speak about. However the aftermath of the lives of the people, their mental state and social state is what that makes the it a contested space.

The daily life of the local is highly affected living in a contested space, there is always the fear of the ‘other’ side.To believe in something, to be a part of something makes you vulnerable to the atrocities committed. The impact on the daily life of Palestinians is supposed to be far greater than that of the Israel population. The prevalence of checkpoints and road blocks add several barriers to education, work places and medical care. Three of the most basic necessities of human social life become difficult to access, and if a curfew is set down, which might be for weeks or months at a time, there is no accessibility. For someone born in the constant turmoil of constant opposition it becomes very easy to fight for oneself,for ones rights and land. Restriction becomes the oil to the conflict.

A constant criminal climate of mass murder, torture, denial of medical care, demotion of home is not new to the locals of these areas. Being suppressed, increasing immigrations are their only escape. The concept of ‘ethnic cleansing’ where the areas are cleared off of the opposing population. The identity of the person becomes so scarred, becomes so delicate, that they would be willing to take on a stronger persona, even if violence or terrorism would be the way.

the impact of this space resonate not only to the extent of the people actually facing it but also to people worldwide. Anti semitism and anti islam sentiments all over the world leads to conscious or unconscious racism. All over discrimination leads to frustration, and the many stores and incidents of innocent people suffering due to their religious beliefs  are heard everyday.

The aim of this conflict becomes making the other groups life so miserable to the extent that they give up the fight, give up the contested space. Efforts of an outer party, like that of UN stepping in, remain futile, as the true root is deep set into the psyche of each individual living in these areas. The contested space becomes a dimension with its core ideals set in the past, the conflict or fight occurring in the present and for a hope for the desired future.

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