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Creating geographies of hope through film: performing space in Palestine-Israel



This paper explores the value and role of critical notions of space in the current impasse in Palestine-Israel through a case study on two films and their creative use of space. The main aim of the paper is to illustrate that it is useful for geographers to use analyses of performance in order to theorise space in more hopeful ways, particularly in areas of conflict, by stressing the importance of space as open-ended and performative. Through a discussion of two films, one by Elia Suleiman and the other by Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan, the paper argues that space, if imagined as dynamic, in-between and potentially connecting Palestinians and Israelis, can be transformative and have a positive role to play in interrogating us/them relationships, power inequalities and Othering in the region. The paper highlights the value of using third space and performance to help create a spatial politics of affect, which may in turn lead to changing perceptions of the Other in conflict regions. Therefore, the paper makes a contribution, not only to the geographical literature on how space is appropriated and constructed in Palestine-Israel, but also to geographical work on hope, film and performance.