In this article, published in the journal Political Geography, Filyra VLASTOU-DIMOPOULOU, a PhD student at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a member of the Géographie-cités laboratory, uses the notion of “embodied geopolitics” in order to place geopolitical relations at the scale of daily life.
Specifically, the article explores how geopolitical relations between Greece and Turkey that historically oscillate between enmity and friendship, mediate the everyday lives of Turkish citizens who moved to Athens after 2016, in a context of intertwined crises (i.e. the refugee, socio-economic and pandemic-related health crisis). Drawing on in-depth interviews with Turkish citizens, we seek to understand how their diverse posi- tionalities defined by gender, class, ethnicity and religion, become reconfigured as they negotiate their be- longings in Athens.
We are interested, in particular, in how this negotiation is shaped by the ever-present geopolitical past, as well as the experiences of displacement and precarity. Through an engagement with critical and feminist geopolitics, we argue that the historical and political relations between Greece and Turkey ‘haunt’ the lives of Turkish citizens, (re)producing stereotypes and othering processes. At the same time, we propose that their everyday relational geographies are constituted by ‘sheltered’ spaces, which enable them to reconfigure their positionalities as well as boundaries, constraints, and haunting histories.
The article concludes with a discussion of the potential the negotiations of belonging that ensue by the haunting geopolitical relations and the everyday sheltered spaces have, to challenge and/or reproduce geopolitical relations on the ground.
Download Filyra Vlastou, Emmy Karimali, Eirini Avramopoulou, Panagiota (Penny) Koutrolikou. Embodied geopolitics and negotiations of belongings from Turkey to Athens after 2016. Political geography, 102, 2023, 10 p.