The Homeless Body

In this article, Samira Kawash argues that people who are homeless are precariously positioned in the ongoing battle over public space. The increasingly violent forms of exclusion of homeless people from public spaces correspond to a rigorously normative definition of the public that views the propertylessness and displacement experienced by the homeless as a threat to the property and place possessed and controlled in the name of the public. Kawash also argues that the homeless body emerges as a particular mode of corporeality through which the public struggles to define and secure itself as distinct and whole. She also explores the corporeal implications of the ideological opposition between public and homeless and the violence that necessarily comes to bear to secure and sustain this division. The resultant contradiction between a material body that occupies space and the denial of any place for such a body can only be resolved through violent processes of containment, constriction, and compression that seek not simply to exclude or control the homeless but rather to efface their presence altogether.

Released: Replika 71, 67–84.
Replika block:
Ágoston Fáber