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Young People’s Experience of House Demolition in the West Bank

The aim of this research is to understand the kinds of agency that emerge through young Palestinians’ experiences of demolitions and how this impacts on their capacities to cope with violence, maintain dignity and build sustainable development for Palestinians. Focusing on the informal networks and processes of learning and collaboration that young people develop in relation to demolitions, we explore what kinds of agency and citizenship these produce, how these impact on young people’s dignity and ability to cope, and on their articulation of alternative futures. To actively engage young people in the research process while addressing policy makers and NGOs, we will use an interdisciplinary participatory methodology combining narrative inquiry and cultural probes. This approach builds on research that identifies aesthetic, embodied and cultural meaning in the coping strategies of young Palestinians (Marshall 2013) and how fear can facilitate narratives of hope (Griffiths ‎‎2017), despite the frequent denial of youth agency and citizenship in Palestine ‎‎(Stewart 2011).

This research aims to understand and explore young Palestinians’ everyday, informal and cultural responses to demolitions, and how these contribute to their health and wellbeing, the formation of more inclusive and peaceful institutions, and building visions of development for Palestine that recognise specific historical and ‎‎cultural context. The project relates directly to the Sustainable Human Development theme of the programme, and relates strongly to the sub-themes of Violence and Dignity.