This post presents a personal account of my experiences growing up in Ramallah, Palestine, studying at Al-Quds Bard university in Palestine and then emigrating to France. It is an overview of all the spaces I had to interact with throughout my life which have now come to define my identity. By observing the different political and social atmospheres in different spaces and their effect on me, I have come to realise that my identity has no static definition and is continuously redefined through every space I exist in.
This report from Beirut presents the topic of tangible and intangible borders-in-flux, which underlie the complexities of social space in modern Beirut Central District (BCD), on account of top-down planning after the civil war and the accumulation of the latest disruptive events, peaked by the port-blast on August 4th. Along with Lefebvre's triad (1974) —the people-less and conceptualized space of 'conceived' dimensions, the navigation of spatial practices or 'perceived space', and the signs and symbols of 'lived space'— it points out the changes in the urban fabric and linked contemporary borders. After introducing BCD, I will focus on Martyrs' Square due to its unique position in Beirut's former demarcation line, the main venue for political protests, and impacted area after the blast.
With the Covid-19 pandemic touching all parts of life, academic research has not been an exception. Even for researchers who are able to maintain access to their field – for instance, through online research – considerable changes in the objects of study force them to rethink their research questions and study designs as they go along. The team behind CRC project B05 “Translocal Networks” reflects on their experiences of conducting a survey of intense Twitter users at the height of the first Covid-19 wave in Jerusalem.
Hannah Wolf, die am Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine Soziologie an der Universität Potsdam promoviert und am SFB 1265 „Re-Figuration von Räumen“ assoziiert ist, berichtet in diesem Blogbeitrag von ihrem Aufenthalt im Westjordanland. Das Leitmotiv ihrer Reise sind dabei die Raumverhältnisse zwischen Innen/Außen, Oben/Unten und Offen/Geschlossen.