Exploring Prospects for Agonistic Encounters in Conflict Zones : Investigating Dual Narrative Tourism in Israel/Palestine
Summary, in English
This article contributes to the emerging literature on possibilities to disseminate agonistic narratives in seemingly deadlocked conflict settings. In this context, conflict parties’ existence is often perceived as being under threat, which makes it demanding to question the current societal order. However, even in the most protracted of conflicts, narratives exist that challenge concurring understandings of identity. Efforts to communicate alternative narratives of identity and memory are the focus of this study, which has two foci: First, it creates a theoretical understanding of agonistic narratives as challenging antagonistic memory constructions in conflicted societies. These agonistic narratives are seen as potentially destabilizing boundary constructions in understandings of the past. Second, it performs an empirical excavation into a contemporary practice of such boundary rupture. It presents results from a study with interviews and participatory observation with guides working within alternative tourism in Israel and Palestine who try to present alternative narratives of the conflict to their audience. The case study thus investigates agonistic elements in these encounters, underlining the mixed logics underpinning the existence of alternative narrative tours in intractable conflicts. Furthermore, it delves into facilitating and inhibiting conditions for carrying out alternative narratives in settings of intractable conflict.