Israel’s J14 Social Protest Movement and Its Imaginings of ‘Home’: On Music, Politics and Social Justice

In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
Nili BelkindColumbia University, New York, USA, Email:

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The J14 social protest movement in Israel (2011) began as a protest against the high cost of living, and most prominently, the inflated cost of housing. However, it quickly became the site of an emerging public discourse regarding the relationship between power and one’s home, whether material dwelling or the universe of meanings associated with home, homeland, citizenship, nationality and ethnicity. This article explores the ways in which expressive culture—musical, visual and discursive—provided the engine for envisioning and contesting new imaginaries of home and contextualizing political action within the protest. A focus on Jaffa, a mixed Jewish-Palestinian city, highlights the ways in which expressive culture negotiated inherent tensions surrounding the meanings of ‘home’ that were brought into the open in Israel’s marginalized peripheries.

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