Intergenerational intimacy geopolitics: family interviewing and generations of memory in occupied Palestine
Critiquing the state-centrism of mainstream geopolitical scholarship, feminist geopolitics has long emphasized the need to attend to how embodied and emotional experiences of everyday life are also bound up within geopolitical processes such as conflict and displacement. Similarly, the subfield of geographies of children, youth, and families has emphasized the ways in which the everyday lives and spaces of young people are implicated within broader scale geopolitical and economic processes. In both of these interrelated strands of research, the intimacy of home and family have emerged as seemingly unlikely sites of geopolitics. Although the gendered power dynamics of the family have received attention, less often considered is the way that inter-generational interactions within and outwith the family are also intertwined within and constitute a form of geopolitics. This paper examines generational encounters, differences, and gaps, as sites of geopolitics, where resistance, resilience, and political subjectivities are formed, performed, and negotiated. To do so we draw upon two separate but related research projects examining the spaces of intergenerational memory in occupied Palestine, one examining Palestinian women’s intergenerational memories of the occupation and resistance, and the other exploring intergenerational memories of a contested religious heritage site. These empirical case studies demonstrate how intergenerational relations are constrained and enlivened by differences in life-course vis-à-vis historical geopolitical events. Examining how memory and meaning are negotiated across generations injects temporality into the concept of intimacy geopolitics, defined as a set of distant and proximate spatial relations, emotional attachments, and embodied encounters through which geopolitics is performed. Alongside this conceptual contribution, we seek to advance a secondary methodological contribution to the geographies of children, youth, and families by reflecting upon the benefits and challenges to conducting intergenerational interviews in family homes and elsewhere.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Taylor Garner , Nadia Mansour, David J. Marshall
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