What is absence? What is presence? How are these two phenomena related? Is absence merely not being present? This book examines these and other questions relating to the role of absence and presence in everyday politics. Absence and presence are used as political tools in global events and everyday life to reinforce ideas about space, society, and belonging. Between Absence and Presence contains six empirically-focussed chapters introducing case study locations and contexts from around the world. These studies examine how particular groups’ relationships with places and spaces are characterized by experiences that are neither wholly present nor wholly absent. Each author demonstrates the variety of ways in which absence and presence are experienced – through silence, forgetting, concealment, distance, and the virtual – and constituted – through visual, aural, and technological. Such accounts also raise philosophical questions about representation and belonging: what must remain absent, and what is allowed to be present? Who decides, and how? Whose voices are heard? Recognizing the complexity of these questions, Between Absence and Presence provides a significant contribution in reconciling theorizations of absence with everyday life.
This book was published a sa special issue of Space and Polity.