Vol. 3 No. 2 (2023): Space

Broken Spaces and Walled Off Realities

Zoltán Veres
Eastern Mediterranean International School

Published 2024-01-24


  • Teichopolitics,
  • Walls,
  • Power,
  • Identity,
  • Derrida,
  • Otherness,
  • Separation
  • ...More

How to Cite

Broken Spaces and Walled Off Realities. (2024). Papers in Arts and Humanities, 3(2), 18-32. https://doi.org/10.52885/pah.v3i2.148


This paper proposes a closer view into how space is structured with one single purpose: to exercise power, both in physical and structural, or rather physical–structural form, bending and twisting human behavior around it. Separation walls embody frustration that stems from unresolved traumas of the past that perpetuate the impotence to solve or re-solve these traumas. Individuals living in the shadows of such walls have incorporated the pain of these traumas into their identities, a pain that leads to an external expression of the incorporation that is then directed towards the wall changing its purpose, turning it into a canvas of creative capitulation in front of the power represented by it. The artifacts that start populating and decorating such walls function as a form of aesthetic domestication, shifting impotence into potency, offering a new semiotic field for the definition of the term “aesthetic resistance.” The objects discussed in this paper include the Berlin Wall and the Israeli–Palestinian separation wall (as seen from Netiv HaAsara and Bethlehem). Walls are not specifically defined in this text. They can be metaphorical, and conventional (without material representation), they can be represented by differences that separate people, institutions, and political structures from each other. This text has not been written with the desire to offer a thorough academic introduction into “teichopolitics” (the politics of walls); instead, it provides a phenomenological “description” of a sort of different experiences regarding various ways of seeing, feeling, and understanding walls.


  1. Aristotle (2014). Nicomachean Ethics (C.D.C. Reeve, Trans.). Hackett Publishing Company Inc.
  2. Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words (J. O. Urmson, & and M. Sbisà, Eds.). Clarendon Press.
  3. BBC Studios (2008, December 20). Do You Speak English?—Big Train—BBC comedy [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxUm-2x-2dM
  4. Bilić, A. (n.d.). Theatre and Performance as a means of survival and resistance during the Siege of Sarajevo. https://www.academia.edu/10869586/Theatre_and_Performance_as_a_means_of_survival_and_resistance_during_the_Siege_of_Sarajevo
  5. Derrida, J. (1998). The monolingualism of the other or, the prosthesis of origin (P. Mensah, Trans.) Stanford University Press. (Original work published 1996)
  6. Harris, J. (n.d.). Ulysses’ gaze—Sarajevo, Ithaca, and the cyclical nature of the film. https://joel.vg/general/ulysses-gaze-sarajevo-ithaca-and-the-cyclical-nature-of-the-film/
  7. Heywood, A. (2014). Global politics. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  8. McDonald, I. (n.d.). Social object theory: The secret ingredient for powering social influence marketing campaigns. http://www.cbpp.uaa.alaska.edu/afef/social_object_theory.htm#:~:text=Engeström%20described%20social%20object%20theory,between%20two%20or%20more%20people.
  9. Noir, T. (1986). Berline Wall Mural. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Wall#/media/File:Berlinermauer.jpg
  10. Sferrazza Papa, E. C. (2018). What is a wall? Towards an ontology of political artefacts. Rivista di estetica, 67, 80–96. https://doi.org/10.4000/estetica.2645
  11. University of Oregon. (n.d.). Window on the West Bank. Banksy in Palestine. A field guide to Banksy’s graffiti on the separation Wall. (Original graffiti created in 2005). https://blogs.uoregon.edu/banksypalestine/in-the-moment/window-on-the-west-bank/
  12. Thierry Noir Biography. https://thierrynoir.com/biography/