Kafka at the West Bank checkpoint: de-normalizing the Palestinian encounter before the law

Ball, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2185-629X, 2014. Kafka at the West Bank checkpoint: de-normalizing the Palestinian encounter before the law. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 50 (1), pp. 75-87. ISSN 1744-9855

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The checkpoint has emerged as a quintessential trope within the contemporary Palestinian imagination, to such an extent that “checkpoint narratives” have arguably come to assume a dangerously “normalized” status as everyday, even iconic features of Palestinian existence. Turning to the films Route 181 by Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan, and like twenty impossibles by Annemarie Jacir, this article explores how alternative representations (and theorizations) of checkpoint encounter might serve to “de-normalize” the checkpoint in a way that invites us to interrogate the very nature of the checkpoint apparatus in itself, including the nature of the “law” that it represents. Mobilizing the critical paradigms of the “state of exception” and “homo sacer” drawn from the theoretical work of Giorgio Agamben and the literary work of Franz Kafka, the article argues that apprehension of the enduring oddity and abnormality of the checkpoint serves as a vital mode of critical resistance to the policies of “spatio-cide”, “securitization” and colonialism exercised at the hands of the State of Israel through the checkpoint mechanism.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Postcolonial Writing
Creators: Ball, A.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2014
Volume: 50
Number: 1
ISSN: 1744-9855
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:56
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 16:04
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5052

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