Speculative Pragmatism and Minor Practices in Palestine: The Art of Living and the Cultivation of Futures

Corine van Emmerik


This paper considers the aesthetic-political dimension in Palestine and in particular looks at how possible Palestinian futures that emerge from it are evident in what I call ‘minor practices’. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of minor literature, minor practices work within the interstices of the occupation and draw upon what is around them in a radically creative way. Aesthetics then is not only a subjective realm linked to an art object or beauty but can be understood as a way of grasping and feeling the world. Whereas the dominant literature on aesthetics and politics reads the art object backward to the intentions of the artist and focuses on the visual, this paper aims to attend to the generative and forward-moving forces that come together in the process of making. By taking the example of a women’s embroidery co-operative in the West Bank, it demonstrates that speculative pragmatism enables us to attend to the moreness in minor practices, aesthetics, and life itself, and how it can vector alternative futures. A speculative pragmatist approach makes perceptible how minor practices can offer space for people to release new energies and forms of creativity, that themselves can produce new potentialities and the soul of a new society. Aesthetics is thus capable of making the potentialities of life felt not only through fine art, but perhaps most keenly, through minor practices that, stitch by stitch, instaurate new arts of living.


Article received: April 25, 2020; Article accepted: June 6, 2020; Published online: October 15, 2020; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: van Emmerik, Corine. "Speculative Pragmatism and Minor Practices in Palestine: The Art of Living and the Cultivation of Futures." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 23 (2020): 77-89. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i23.398


Palestine; speculative pragmatism; aesthetics; aesthetics-politics; minor; Deleuze; Guattari; speculative philosophy.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i23.398


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