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Bedouins' politics of place and memory: a case of unrecognised villages in the Negev

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Israeli laws and the state's dominant discourse depict Bedouins as rootless nomads and classify the Negev as historically dead, no-man's land. This characterisation implies that the Bedouins from the Negev have no ties to the land and therefore cannot claim ownership of it. It also transforms residents of 'unrecognised villages' into trespassers on state land whom the state must evict. This article examines how the subordinated Bedouin population asserts its agency and, contests the systemic marginalisation. It explores Bedouins' counter-narratives and practices through which an alternative understanding of 'Bedouinity' emerges, and through which the Bedouins challenge the state's policy and colonisation of the community's everyday life.
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Keywords: Bedouins; identity; land rights; mundane politics; unrecognised villages

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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