CMRB: New Research on the Middle East, Monday 14th December 2015, 4 – 6pm, Docklands Campus

Please find below details regarding the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging’s next event.

New Research on the Middle East
Monday 14th December 2015, 4 – 6pm
Docklands Campus, UEL (Room EB.G.06)

Giulia Daniele, CMRB, UEL

Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken

Sharri Plonski, SOAS

New Borders – Carving a Palestinian Space into the Mixed City of Jaffa-Tel Aviv

Eylem Atakav, UEA

‘Until Every Child is Safe’: Representing ‘Legitimised’ Abuse and Child Brides on Screen

The event is free but space is limited so please book a place(s) at


Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken, Giulia Daniele

My talk is founded on the theoretical analysis and the fieldwork evaluation reported on in my Ph.D. dissertation, which has been published by Routledge in the form of a book entitled Women,Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken. One of the main objectives of my research has been to analyse the most significant Palestinian and Israeli women’s political initiatives that have been influenced by and, in the majority of cases, prevented by obstacles associated with the Israeli military occupation in the last decade.

Despite the majority of women’s political proposals and actions have been relegated to the margins of the mainstream arena, a few of them have succeeded in finding alternative politics and approaches that have assisted them in their commitment to the struggle to end the Israeli military occupation. In such a framework, the academic salience of my study is the provision of an additional contribution to the current debate on the process of making Palestinian and Israeli women activists more visible, and the importance of this process as being one of the most meaningful ways in which to open up areas of enquiry around relevant prospects for a fair resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Giulia Daniele is currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centro de Estudos Internacionais (CEI) of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) of the University of East London (UEL).

After obtaining her Bachelor Degree in International Studies (2005) and Master’s Degree in International Relations and Human Rights (2007) at the University of Torino, she completed her Ph.D. in Politics, Human Rights and Sustainability under a co-tutelle agreement between the University of Exeter and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in April 2012.

Since 2005 she has conducted fieldwork researches in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel and Tunisia. She also acquired useful experience with her involvement in the International Election Observation Mission for the Palestinian elections in January 2006, in the international cooperation project called EPIC (European, Palestinian and Israeli Cities for Health and Social Partnership) sponsored by the World Health Organization in December 2006, and when she was a research intern at the Office of the Vice President of the European Parliament in Brussels in Autumn 2008.

Her main research interests broadly cover the following fields: Middle East politics (focusing on Palestine/Israel), women’s political activism in the Middle East and North Africa, social movements, gender and feminist studies, conflict resolution and ethno-national narratives.

Her first book is entitled Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken (Routledge, 2014).

 New Borders – Carving a Palestinian Space into the Mixed City of Jaffa-Tel Aviv, Sharri Plonski

Acts of subversive cartography have become a common practice of Palestinian-citizen resistances inside Israel. Intertwined as part of the dialectic, if asymmetrical, relationship that exists between ‘power’ and ‘resistance’, they act as a window both into the apparatuses employed to colonise Palestinian space inside Israel and the insurgent practices different communities have articulated in response. This encounter – between Zionist erasures and the struggle to root and re-entrench Palestinian space – produces the particular story, the particular space, in which both are housed, the lines and borders of which are articulated and disrupted through unique spatial relations. In this talk, we will explore the everyday and catalytic resistances that re-map, re-sign and reclaim Palestinian space in Jaffa-Tel Aviv. Through an exploration of a spectrum of practices, we investigate how power is activated, disarticulated and reshaped through struggle that is both present and absent from Israeli-Zionist productions of space; and how struggle is articulated and mediated by the same conditions.

Dr. Sharri Plonski earned her PhD from the Department of Development Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where she is currently a postdoctoral associate. She also works as an associate lecturer at Brunel University, where she teaches a courseon the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her thesis will be published in 2016 as part of the new SOAS Palestine Studies Book Series with I.B. Taurus as the Struggle for Space: Ordinary and Extraordinary Resistances by Palestinian citizens of an Israeli-Jewish State.

‘Until Every Child is Safe’: Representing ‘Legitimised’ Abuse and Child Brides on Screen

According to the UNICEF report entitled ‘Ending Child Marriage: Progress and Prospects’ (2013), there are 700 million women who were married as children, and 280 million girls are at risk of becoming child brides. In Turkey, according to the reports written by feminist organisations 1 in 3 marriages there is a child. These figures are alarming and signal the need for further and urgent research in the field. Working on a documentary film on ‘child brides’ in Turkey is my first exposure to filmmaking, therefore it poses challenges to me as an academic, who focuses on theories around feminism and media rather than filmmaking practice.

In this paper, I will critically reflect upon and share the findings of my research into the representation of child brides in the media, with the aim of answering a key question: what kind of a visual language is used in the Turkish media in the depiction of girls as brides? I argue that on screen portrayals of married girls are presented as individualised stories of victims, and they reinforce a focus on tradition and religion rather than identify issues inherent in the law, politics and society. In linking theory and practice, I will also present an account of the methodological issues around representation in the production of my documentary on ‘child brides’ in Turkey. The film explores what happens after child marriage by focusing on the stories of four women and making their experiences visible, in an attempt to contribute to and advance debates around this significant, complex and emotionally charged human rights issue which has often been discursively silenced.

Eylem Atakav is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia where she teaches courses on women and film; women, Islam and media; and Middle Eastern cinemas. She is the author of Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural Identity and Representation (Routledge, 2012) and editor of Directory of World Cinema: Turkey (Intellect, 2013).  Her academic interests are on Middle Eastern film and television; representation of ‘honour’ crimes in the media, and transnational women’s cinema.

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