On fleeing colonial captivity: fugitive arts in the occupied Jawlan

Nadeem Karkabi, Aamer Ibraheem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines artistic production in the formerly Syrian land of the Jawlan (Golan Heights) as a way of tracing Indigenous politics of decolonization. Through consideration of the Jawlanis’ longstanding refusal to integrate into the Israeli state, the article demonstrates how Yasser Khanger’s poetry and the music of the band Toot Ard are practices of artistic fugitivity that flee colonial captivity. It argues that these cases offer two different modes of metaphoric and actual fugitive mobility. Khanger’s is a mental movement toward disengagement from the settler-colonial state while physically staying in place. It evades subjugation by redefining confinement as a tool for staging poetic insurgency. The second mode is based on physical nomadic movement in international space while embracing a stateless condition. Fugitivity here becomes a movement that forces the Indigenous stateless self into the outside world, to realise the possibility of decolonisation by transgressing nation-state borders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-710
Number of pages20
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Fugitivity
  • decolonisation
  • golan heights
  • indigenous art
  • refusal
  • syria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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