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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Noam Leshem

Leshem, Noam “Over our dead bodies” Placing necropolitical activism. Political Geography. 2015;45:34-44.

Author(s) from Durham


Analysing a struggle between Palestinian campaigners and Israeli authorities over an ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, this paper explores the role of necrogeography in contesting urban boundaries, asserting historical legitimacy and realizing emancipatory spatial practices. The article bridges an existing gap between the geographical study of death spaces, and the necropolitical realities of conflict in late modernity. The case-study analyses one arena of contemporary urban geopolitics of death in Israel–Palestine, and the myriad of factors that shape its dynamics of struggle and power relations. The article argues that the multiple avenues of nuanced and creative political action found in necrogeographical research over the past two decades offers a lived alternative to the politics of despair that often dominates the prevailing conceptualizations of necropolitics.