The birth of settler colonialism at birth: Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, ‘The Politics of Birth and the Intimacies of Violence Against Palestinian Women in Occupied East Jerusalem’, British Journal of Criminology, 2015
Abstract: Focusing on the embodiment of violence against pregnant women, this paper borrows from Palestinian women’s own words and descriptions to reveal intimate aspects of aggression against and surveillance over their bodies and lives. The paper examines both the effects of violence on young mothers and their community and the denial of violence by the settler colonial state. I emphasize the structural regime that exacerbates such aggression, as well as women’s agency in subverting the system of oppression. The paper concludes by stressing that surveillance embedded in Israeli biopolitical measures and geopolitical constraints inscribe severe violence over birthing Palestinian women. Such violence invades the public and intimate spaces of women’s homes, bodies and minds, leaving them trapped in a vicious maze.
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