The wall that moves: The separation barrier in the West Bank

Dr Umut Ozguc and West Bank (Image by Travel 2 Palestine on Flickr)

Event details


Date & time

Friday 16 August 2019


Lecture Theatre 2 (HB2), Hedley Bull Building 130, corner of Garran Road adn Liversidge Street, ANU


Dr Umut Ozguc, University of New South Wales, Canberra


Carly Gordyn

In this seminar, Dr Umut Ozguc explores the ways in which the separation wall operates as a complex network that brings together diverse social, political and spatial elements in novel ways. The wall generates new connections, codes, and discontinuities in the West Bank. It creates its own fixed and fluid elements, statements, and functions. The wall first empties Palestinian land to occupy it. It then captures that land, its people and resources, and imposes its own behavioral, legal, and institutional codes. These codes are made up of ever-shifting heterogeneous elements.

Dr Ozguc argues that the wall is a network that forms and connects new and already existing mechanisms of control: it is an entity that multiplies itself. It is an entity that moves.

In her discussion of both macropolitics and micropolitics of the wall, Dr Ozguc shows how, on this no-border zone, everything changes with the simultaneous movement of competing forces. Dr Ozguc argues that while movements of contestation activate potential moments for positive transformations, forces of established formations continue to operate through the partition and colonisation of Palestinian space and bodies.

Umut Ozguc is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. She is a critical IR scholar working on critical security and border studies, settler colonialism, spatial theory, resistance, and posthumanism. Currently, she is working on a research project on the ecological impacts of border walls. Her current research aims to challenge the overly anthropocentric focus of the contemporary debates over borders and mobility. Umut holds a BA in International Relations from Ankara University, and a MA (Research) in Politics and International Relations from the University of New South Wales. She completed her doctoral research on border politics in 2017. She previously worked as a researcher and a lecturer at several universities including The Australian National University, the University of New South Wales, and Sydney University.

The Migration and Displacement Discussion Group invites ANU researchers to come together to bridge our disciplinary divides and engage in a wider conversation.

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