Ilayda Ustel
Ilayda Ustel
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November 12, 2021

Spaces of Encounter / Spaces of Contamination

A Collage

Isolation and the threat of getting infected have brought a heightened awareness of the permeability of our bodies and of the intersections that make up space in the course of the pandemic. Our bodies soak up, let in, and absorb in space that implies “gaps and tensions, contacts and separations” between bodies (Lefebvre 184). 

Practiced between the bodies, and through the use of face masks, shields, disinfectants and space, social distancing and preventive measures are a result of the desire and endeavor to govern, or rather, police the bodies’ porosity; a fantasy of achieving the sought-after im-passability

We are constantly being re-familiarized with the shifting strict boundaries between inside and outside, and the arbitrary rules dictating who or what can get in and who or what must stay out, which are in practice re-written and re-configured through the use of “tactics” forming cracks and crevices that transform the boundaries into unregulated passages (de Certeau).

This collage invites the viewer to acknowledge the impossibility of impassability between bodies both human and non-human, and imagines new potentialities and entanglements these so-called borders and fences might offer as spaces of encounter and flux, rather than of impasse.

You can pre-order "Impasse" in a special offer together with our last issue "Contamination."

Works Cited

Certeau, Michel de. The Practice of Everyday Life. Translated by Steven F. Rendall, University of California Press, 2002. 

Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith, Blackwell, 1991. 


Ilayda Ustel was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. Having received her M.A. in Comparative Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam, she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies at Ohio State University. She is interested in digital media, embodiment, digital activism, and space creation.

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