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"Our Life is Prison": The Triple Captivity of Wives and Mothers of Palestinian Political Prisoners


In focus groups and individual interviews with the wives and mothers of Palestinian political prisoners, we find that their narratives describe a triple captivity—of the Israeli colonial system, the Israeli prison, and the post-Oslo Palestinian political landscape with its isolating effects in their own communities. Wives and mothers of prisoners mediate between prison and family life by navigating through the multiple dynamics of Israeli securitization and geographic incarceration, political invisibility in the Palestinian field, and social isolation in their communities. In particular, the visit from the West Bank to prisons inside Israel emerges as an ordeal that haunts and structures daily life. We draws on Jacques Ranciere's notion to highlight the vanishing of the political, the dominance of policing, and the diminishing value of imprisonment in the post Oslo years, signaling an absence of the Palestinian emancipatory project.

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