A06
Contested claims: land in difficult socio-political contexts

Convenors:
Maurice Said (Durham University)
Alice Stefanelli (Durham University)
Stream:
Displacements of Power
Location:
Julian Study Centre 1.03
Sessions:
Friday 6 September, 9:00-10:30, 14:00-15:30

Short abstract:

Across various contemporary contexts, land is at the centre of highly contested processes of patrimonialisation, restructuring and new boundary creation.These have resulted in far-reaching restructuring of material and social life, and in a sense of 'disruption and disorientation'.

Long abstract:

Across various contemporary contexts, land is at the centre of highly contested processes of patrimonialisation, restructuring and new boundary creation, whether it be the erosion of commons, the establishment of new borderlands, and the creation of new economic zones. These have resulted in far-reaching restructuring of material and social life, and in a sense of 'disruption and disorientation' amongst the groups most affected by them. In this panel, we are concerned with the politics surrounding such 'dislocations', which we understand with Harvey and Krohn Hansen as a phenomenon that implies 'spatial movement, but it also refers to other senses of disruption or disorientation, such as the sentiment of feeling out of place, or of losing your bearings or sense of self as things move and change around you' (ibid. 2018: 12). In this regard, we seek contributions that engage with the following questions: 1. How does dislocation manifest itself ethnographically? What are its causes, and its consequences? (E.g. changes in policy and legislation, local manifestations of larger processes; dispossession, encroachment). 2. How do contested claims over land result in a sense of misplaced justice, voicelessness and political alienation? What strategies do actors mobilise to navigate, counter and mitigate these conflicts? 3. In what ways do land contestations expose cleavages between different interest groups, otherwise subsumed under the tenuous categories of public/private?