Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gated Communities, Walled Nations

I couldn't help but notice similarities in portraits of exception: Barak, the retiring Minister of Defense of Israel, once saying "Israel is the villa in the jungle," and the depiction of the gated communities of Breezy Point and Sea Gate. All these entities see themselves as privileged sites of protection from their surrounding neighborhoods of difference. Those outside the fence can only stand and watch as government funds pour through the gates of exclusion to recreate the exceptionalism that nature destroyed. As one resident of Sea Gate said, being "private" is what makes Sea Gate so essential to him. So private that not even the street names of these communities appear on  official maps. Secrecy and exclusionary, supported by the taxes of all, even those who cannot pass through the gates, supported by some who were themselves once upon a time not allowed to live in these "safe havens." Other storms will come.

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