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University of California, Los Angeles

Bucerius Pre-Doctoral Grant

Mapping Decolonized Futures: Indigenous Efforts for Algeria, Palestine, and Hawaii


In settler colonial societies, maps rarely include indigenous peoples, let alone affirm their histories or continued existence. Dominant state maps replace their presence on the land and their spatial knowledge with settler imaginaries. However, mapping is not necessarily a unidirectional or top-down process. Four months before Algeria’s National Liberation Front launched the war of independence and two years before it adopted its political platform, it redrew the map and established a counter state to French Algeria. This counter state stood as a material and discursive contestation to the French colonial project, even prompting a French remapping. Using the counter-mapping and remapping of pre- and post-independence Algeria as a nodal point of inquiry, this study interrogates how contemporary indigenous mapping projects – in Palestine and Hawaii – function as a decolonial praxis in imagining alternate futures. 

Nour Joudah is a Geography Ph.D. student at UCLA and an Associate Producer of Status Hour Audio Journal. She has a M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and wrote her M.A. thesis on the role and perception of exile politics within the Palestinian liberation struggle, in particular among politically active Palestinian youth living in the United States and Occupied Palestine. Nour is currently working on her doctoral dissertation, with a research focus on indigenous counter-mapping and decolonization in former and current settler colonies.

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