chapter
8 Pages

Introduction

When do words and actions empower? When do they betray? These questions guide the reader through an ethnographic journey of the repercussions of activism. In this book, I explore what happens around campaigns against house demolitions in Southern Israeli Negev desert. I investigate what happens before and after bulldozers demolish buildings on contested lands. I follow loud demonstrations, silent meditation circles, guided tours for political tourists and effervescent solidarity festivals as well as victims, funders and activists, across connections, frictions and contradictions. How do emerging actors create new interpretative categories of the conflict? How is it possible to extend the spaces of what seems feasible within the given context of a violent and oppressive conflict? Under which conditions do the words and actions of activists empower? When do they betray their emancipatory intentions?