Jerusalem: Boundaries, Spaces, and Heterotopias of Conflict
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This paper aims to tell many different stories about life in Jerusalem. It is, in part, about the human suffering that exists under Israeli occupation. It is about the legitimacy of powerful narratives, despite inaccuracies and contradictions. It is about the resilience and tenacity of various communities on either side of a complex conflict. But primarily, this is a paper about borders: both physical and intangible boundaries that divide and define various communities in Jerusalem. Boundaries reveal a society through their construction, destruction, and definition of space. Because borders are demonstrated through anecdote, I examine boundaries largely through ethnography, exploring four specific types of boundaries and spaces: physical-political boundaries, boundaries based on cultural identity, gendered spaces, and heterotopias. Political and social shifts occur on boundaries where contact, conflict, and compromise exist. By examining sites that are particularly vulnerable to transition, we can better understand societal change and affect genuine resolution.