This interview with Lena Meari considers the history and present of Palestinian hunger strikes. Meari reflects on the political and theoretical dimensions of hunger strikes by Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli colonial prisons, and illuminates their relationship to the history of the Palestinian liberation struggle and its transformations from the 1960s into the post-Oslo present. The interview situates the hunger strike at the center of a Palestinian political culture of anticolonial protest, and argues that this form of strike manifests Palestinian aspirations for freedom that have continued to permeate the prison, while transforming it into a space of struggle, and reproducing Palestine as resistance. Each singular/collective hunger strike interrupts the colonial order within and beyond the prison walls, and asserts Palestinians’ persistent struggle for a liberated future. The demise of the collective hunger strike and the rise of individual strikes, Meari argues, does not necessarily signal the collapse of collective struggles. Rather, individual hunger strikes are what at present maintain the memory of past collective struggles and anticipate while activating anticolonial collectivity-in-struggle to come.

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