Qalandia checkpoint as space and nonplace

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article analyzes checkpoints in the Palestinian Territories and how they function as both a unique anthropological space and a nondescript nonplace. First, the author describes the birth of modern-day checkpoints, their formations, variations, and functions. Then, based on ethnographic research at the Qalandia checkpoint, halfway between Ramallah and Jerusalem, the author shows how the checkpoint is an economic and social hub and argues that it is an "anthropological space." Qalandia and checkpoints generally can also be theorized as "nonplaces," akin to airports, that are interstitial zones that sever Palestinian space-time. Finally, the author suggests that checkpoints play a central and symbolic role in Palestinian society that bespeaks the core predicament of Palestinian existence within a paradoxical and disordered relationship to geography over which Israel continuously attempts to exert control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-26
Number of pages23
JournalSpace and Culture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Israel
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Qalandia
  • West Bank
  • checkpoints
  • nonplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Qalandia checkpoint as space and nonplace'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this