A Refugee Landscape: Writing Palestinian Nationalisms in Lebanon
Keywords:Palestinian refugee, nationalism, homeland, identity, refugee camp
AbstractThe symbolic landscape of Rashidieh camp, Lebanon, plays an important 12 role in the Palestinian refugee cultural and political system there. Palestinian 13 political factions produce and display wall paintings, posters and graffiti, which 14 promote Palestinian nationalism by prompting people to recall popular discourses 15 of their homeland. A close reading of this landscape reveals the political divisions 16 between different factions, which share a commitment to Palestinian nationalism 17 but diverge in their articulation of that nationalism and how to achieve the 18 liberation of the homeland. The landscape is both an arena through which 19 Palestinian factions attempt to communicate with people and produce and 20 reproduce a sense of Palestinian identity and solidarity with the Palestinian 21 nationalist movement, and an arena through which Palestinian factions compete 22 with each other for support from the Palestinian populace. These efforts function 23 as one of a range of power practices performed by the dominant political factions in 24 the camp, but ordinary people’s divergent and critical readings of the landscape’s 25 messages can shed light on the workings and failures of these processes.
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