Rhythmic scales in Mediterranean cities: reciprocal otherness and anti-structure in Jaffa and beyond
(Central European University)
Paper short abstract:
Binational cities challenge the national order of things. Seen up-close as a scale question, the mixed city is "a mediation among mediations" between communities and the state. As a system of reciprocal oppositions the city produces a series of urban rhythms vis-à-vis self and Other.
Paper long abstract:
Binational cities in Israel/Palestine challenge the national order of things. These "mixed" cities bring to the fore the hegemonic power of (Jewish) territorial nationalism while resisting its very foundations. Seen up-close as a scale question, the mixed city is "a mediation among mediations" as Henri Lefebvre has put it, but one that disrupts the sequential mediation between the urban and the national scale, and assumes its identity by the act of disrupting. Against the ethnocratic rationality of the state (its raison d'état) rebels an alternative relational rationality of the urban scale. As a system of reciprocal oppositions the mixed city produces a series of urban rhythms vis-à-vis the state and the Other: developmental rhythms of gentrification, political rhythms of collective action, communal rhythms of religious rituals and economic rhythms of consumption. Drawing on ethnographic research centered in Jaffa, this paper analyzes the work of rhythms and the violence of pluralism. From this ongoing struggle—played out in the interaction between rhythms of action and scales of rule—emerges Jaffa sui generis, shared and shattered.
Cities of the forking paths: intercommunal (dis)harmony and the rhythms of everyday life