Freedom Is a Place gives readers a snapshot of everyday life in the 1967 oPt (occupied Palestinian territories). A project of subaltern geopolitics, it helps both new and seasoned scholars of the region better understand occupation: its purpose, varied manifestations, and on-the-ground functions. This personal study brings to light how large-scale geopolitics play havoc with the lives of ordinary people and how people resist and endure.
Using data collected over a decade of fieldwork, Ron J. Smith situates the everyday realities of the occupation within the larger project of Zionism. He explores the attempts to codify a temporary condition like occupation into permanency. Smith insists that occupation be understood as a changing process, not a singular event, and to explain its longevity, he argues that we must uncover the particular geographical and political dynamism at hand.
Through careful use of interviews and participant observation, Smith reveals how the varied practices of occupation transform daily life into a prison. He also helps bring to light everyday narratives illustrating how people mobilize claims to freedom and sovereignty to maintain life under occupation. Freedom Is a Place uncovers how lessons from Israel's seventy-plus-years occupation are used by other states to oppress restive populations. At the same time, Smith identifies how these lessons also can be mobilized to create new spaces and strategies toward achieving liberation.