‘The Harvest is a Poem’: everyday practices as culture and resistance in the occupied Palestinian territory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills (Masafer Yatta), occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), face double marginality: from the Israeli occupation and within Palestinian society. In the 1980s, the creation of an Israeli closed military zone threatened them with displacement. Following decades of legal challenge, a recent court ruling to uphold the military zone is threatening the existence of the people and their way of life in Masafer Yatta (Bröckerhoff & Soliman, 2022). Over the last five years as part of the ‘On Our Land’ project, Palestinian youth from Masafer Yatta were trained in oral history methodology to document and record stories about various aspects of cultural heritage and the way of life of this community, including pastoral and agricultural practices, storytelling, songs, arts and embroidery. This paper examines these cultural practices through the analytical lens of everyday resistance. Through an analysis of songs sung during the harvest, we advance the argument that in restrictive contexts, everyday practices that are not politically articulated constitute a form of everyday resistance. The paper demonstrates an original contribution how the upholding of everyday cultural practices in Masafer Yatta contributes to unintentional, yet consequential everyday resistance in the maintenance of traditional lifestyles. It thus extends current debates in resistance and peace studies that have engaged primarily with an intentional use of culture for purposes of dissent. In doing this, we propose a grounded understanding of how culture and resistance are intertwined in everyday life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
JournalJournal of Resistance Studies
Volume(In-Press)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • South Hebron
  • Cultural resistance
  • Occupied Palestinian Territory
  • Resistance
  • Agriculture
  • songs
  • Everyday resistance

Themes

  • Peace and Conflict
  • Social Movements and Contentious Politics

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