Siri Schwabe, PhD student, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Palestinian places in Santiago de Chile: Tracing diasporic politics

There is a saying in Chile that every town has a priest, a police officer, and a Palestinian. In the capital of Santiago, the Palestinian (as phenomenon rather than figure) is always present, but its presence hinges on the negotiation of specific spaces and becomes more or less remarkable at particular moments. Based on longterm fieldwork in Santiago, this presentation will take us through four distinct but interconnected Palestinian places in the Chilean capital: the neighborhood of Patronato; an exclusive social club called Club Palestino; the football stadium La Cisterna, and the central avenue popularly known as La Alameda. These are spaces which have not always and exclusively been Palestinian, but which have all at crucial moments and in remarkably varied ways been, as it were, occupied by Palestinianness—a Palestinianness which, in turn, is always in some way political. By way of this field tour, albeit limited and incomplete, I hope to provide both an overall introduction to Palestinian life in Santiago and to consider the relevance and usefulness of looking at a diasporic politics of Palestinianness through a spatial lens.

Find out more about the Migration cluster at the Department of Social Anthropology.

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