Homeland, territory, property: contesting land, state, and nation in urban Timor-Leste

Stead, Victoria 2015, Homeland, territory, property: contesting land, state, and nation in urban Timor-Leste, Political geography, vol. 45, pp. 79-89, doi: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2014.05.002.

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Title Homeland, territory, property: contesting land, state, and nation in urban Timor-Leste
Author(s) Stead, Victoria
Journal name Political geography
Volume number 45
Start page 79
End page 89
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-03
ISSN 0962-6298
Keyword(s) Land
Nation-building
Right to the city
Squatter settlement
State-building
Timor-Leste
Social Sciences
Geography
Political Science
Government & Law
EAST-TIMOR
FORCED EVICTIONS
CITY
COMMUNITY
CITIES
DELHI
POOR
Summary This article considers contestations over land, state and nation in Aitarak Laran, an urban settlement in post-independence Timor-Leste. Since 2010 the settlement has been resisting eviction by the East Timorese state, which wishes to use the land it occupies to build a National Library and Cultural Centre. In exploring the contestation, the purpose of this article is two-fold. Firstly, it explores the nature of social connection to land within postcolonial state- and nation-building. Here, the contestation at Aitarak Laran reveals counter-posed imaginings of land as homeland, territory and property. Secondly, the article draws out the implications of these counter-posed imaginings for thinking about the 'right to the city', a notion first theorised by Lefebvre (1996 [1968]) and subsequently developed to encompass a range of modes of urban protest. In the settlement, the promises of independence-unity, equivalence, and inclusion within the sovereign nation-state-are at odds with residents' experiences of what independence has in fact brought. Land, in its multiple imaginings, becomes a crucible upon which this painful disjuncture plays out. Reading Aitarak Laran as an instance of 'right to the city' struggle, these tensions emerge as well not only in practice but also in theory, reflected particularly in the limitations and ambiguities of rights discourse.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.polgeo.2014.05.002
Field of Research 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified
160514 Urban Policy
1604 Human Geography
1606 Political Science
1605 Policy And Administration
Socio Economic Objective 940201 Civics and Citizenship
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30067757

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Alfred Deakin Research Institute
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