“An Assemblage of Decoloniality? Palestinian Fellahin Resistance and the Space-Place Relation” by Mark Muhannad Ayyash


This paper examines how fellahin resistance beginning in the early parts of the 20th century interacted with the Zionist settler-colonial project, focusing on how this resistance operated on a complex understanding of the relation between the fixity of place and flux of space. Thinking this resistance alongside theories of colonial occupation as well as Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of assemblage and the smoothstriated mixture of space, I argue that following the complex interplay between space (flux) and place (fixity), as opposed to resolving it, may yield a promising pathway in Palestinian, and perhaps global, decolonial resistances today. This can be observed in the contemporary resistance of Palestinian fellahin in the village of Bil‘in, whose repertoires of action constitute an assemblage, both spatially and temporally. I argue that one of the important lessons found in the discourse and actions of Bil‘in activists is that land is autonomous of human desires and plans, of ethno-national ideological projects. Opening politics to the insight that the flux of space cannot be tamed within a bounded nation-state produces a decolonial resistance that sees the displacement of people from the land as the displacement of life itself.

Ayyash, Mark M. (2018). “An Assemblage of Decoloniality? Palestinian Fellahin Resistance and the Space-Place Relation”. Studies in Social Justice, 12 (1): 21-37.