Dr. Noam Leshem, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Durham University
From 1948 a no-man’s land split Jerusalem for nearly two decades. This space of ruination between the fortified lines became an iconic symbol of a violent national conflict that continues to this day. Looking beyond the coils of barbed wire and sniper posts, this paper seeks a more nuanced understanding of no-man’s land as a space of radical potential and possibility. Retracing the history of the Israeli Black Panther Movement, one of the country's most important ethnic protest movements, the paper shifts the common geopolitical focus on state violence toward radical social-political horizons that life in no-man’s land reveals. Conceptually, the analysis challenges the narrow understanding of ‘exposure', a concept that usually denotes the vulnerability of those who have been stripped of conventional protections. Instead, through the intimate portraits of those who led the Black Panthers, I argue for exposure as a condition of encounter and transformative politics.
Co-Sponsored by the School of Geography & Development and CMES