This post presents a personal account of my experiences growing up in Ramallah, Palestine, studying at Al-Quds Bard university in Palestine and then emigrating to France. It is an overview of all the spaces I had to interact with throughout my life which have now come to define my identity. By observing the different political and social atmospheres in different spaces and their effect on me, I have come to realise that my identity has no static definition and is continuously redefined through every space I exist in.
In the city of Antofagasta in Northern Chile, 16,396 people live in around 62 so-called informal settlements which lack basic service provision – with water access being the residents’ main concern. Drawing on extensive qualitative fieldwork carried out between 2018 and 2020, this blog post offers a hydro-social analysis of the informal practices of water acquisition employed by the residents of Antofagasta’s informal settlements. By taking into account both the material elements of these practices as well as their underlying logics and rationalities, the author aims to shed light on the reciprocal relationship between official water access and social belonging, paving the way for a more nuanced discussion of urbanisation processes.