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Book - Dissertation

Subtitle:Nubian displacement and the en-gendered resistance in public space
This project investigates how gender and power relations are manifest in the design, performance, and representations of the built environment in the built environment of displaced Nubians, an African population displaced and resettled in 1964 under a development-induced displacement and resettlement (DIDR) scheme. Gendered aspects of dispossession and post-displacement architecture are both under-theorised themes in the available literature; nevertheless, resettled societies are often averse to their built environment, as it does not satisfy their cultural and socio-economic needs. Women in particular often suffer great losses in terms of their status and the quality of spaces they inhabit. The case of Nubians, in particular, is under-studied in most of its aspects. This thesis has four main objectives: first, to spotlight Nubian contemporary issues; second, to shift the paradigm of inquiry on gender and power from western realms by positioning it in an indigenous episteme; third, to revisit the ontological notions of ‘public space’ and ‘the Architect’; and fourth, to Create a theory of Nubian territoriality. A single case-study approach was employed , as this thesis intends to shed light on the displaced Nubian settlement of Qustul, my home village. The project used ethnographic methods to collect and process the data, especially autoethnographies which render me, researcher as well as a displaced citizen, researched. Throughout its course, this thesis has been committed to a reflexive positionality, through which I have been able to listen to a different voice in my head and to see different aspects of a Nubian episteme. I have also experimented with methodologies such as schizocartography, critical discourse analysis, and narrative mapping, being especially concerned with the gendered experience. This research endeavour has produced maps of spaces and spatial tactics that represent resistance against spatial violence. These maps, in addition to the linked oral histories, form a point of departure from which to extract ontological lessons about gendered spatial production and the concepts of public and private space. I have cuddled this doctoral thesis by feminist, afro-feminist, afro-womanist, postcolonial, and indigenous literature; such areas of scholarship acted as theoretical allies and guides for the realisation of the objectives of this thesis. Ultimately, I argue that the built environment of forced resettlement acts as a tool of spatial violence that disenfranchises displaced people, especially women. The theoretical discoveries here contribute to three major debates in 6 spatial studies: first, the debate over public space, as I offer a disruptive critique of “publics”; second, the debate over the role of the architect, as I promote seeing emotional capital in spatial production; and third, the considerable debate surrounding the issue of territoriality. I then present a theorisation of territories of loss in what I term ’disembodied territorialities’, and this doctoral project is eventually used to present the overarching lesson, focused on the performed space rather than the built one.
Number of pages: 288
Publication year:2019
Keywords:Doctoral thesis