of ‘martyrdom’. As Hugh Grady and Terence Hawkes point out, by ‘deliberately employing crucial aspects of the present as a trigger for its investigations, its centre of gravity will accordingly be “now”, rather than “then”’. 1 I thus use the trigger
Bilal Tawfiq Hamamra
Ethnography of Muharram laments among Shi'i volunteer militants in the Middle East
faculties to sense, think, reason, or speak. I was there to observe, participate. Anthropology as usual! I was among the black-clad Iranian volunteer militants who had gathered to mourn and commemorate the martyrdom of their holy imam. I had seen lamentation
Karen Carpenter and the Body-Martyr in Queer Memory
martyrdom can be found in the title of a queer-authored cultural-history-themed WordPress blog entitled “KAREN CARPENTER DIED FOR YOU SINS” ( Anonymous 2014 ). Within supposedly progressive cultural paradigms where “queer youth become valued and supported as
Martyrdom and Memorials in Post–Civil War Lebanon
Are John Knudsen
-Amin mosque he endowed. The magnitude of Hariri’s posthumous commemoration makes it important to examine both its foundations and the implications for the understanding of martyrdom in post–civil war Lebanon. There is no tradition for prosecuting and
A Journey along the Iranian Collective Memory in Iran-Iraq War Memorial Sites
. The sites, which are located in border zones, resemble Shi'i shrines (see Figure 1 ) and radiate a sense of sacrality that overrides the lingering memories of war and human suffering. They are designed to speak of martyrdom and not pain; their design
Of Witnesses, Martyrs, and Plural Pasts in Post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina
the cult of martyrdom of Bosniaks killed during the conflict ( Bougarel 2007 ). This process of monumentalization of the past in the present attempts to appropriate narratives of suffering and loss into the grand national narratives and cosmologies
The Artistic and Diasporic Afterlife of the Iran-Iraq War
How do the cultural and emotional after-effects of the Iran-Iraq War influence artistic production among Iranian artists living outside of Iran? How do Iranian diaspora self-portraits act as socio-political memoirs? This article addresses these questions by looking at some examples of diaspora artists who through their art somehow remain political 'subjects' of contemporary Iran, even as they grapple with the complexities of 'being away' - if that is ever really possible.
The Art of the Political Relationship in Lebanon
This article aims to analyse the patron–client relationship through a detailed ethnography of the everyday life of Walid Junblat's followers in Lebanon. It reveals how intimate people are with political figures, talking to them (in the form of their pictures), talking about them, thinking through them, playing off this intimacy to enter the political competition. Patrons also play their part in this relationship. The weekly political gatherings held at Junblat's Palace are the apex of this aesthetic of power. Detailed observations indicate how the lord orchestrates and varies the tempo of his interactions with the ritual audience, adding complexity and fluidity to the relation.
Martyrdom as Generative Sacrifice in the Nepal People's War
In Nepal, war is a sacrifice. The warrior maintains a direct and unique relationship with the divine, since in warfare he makes a sacrificial gift of his own person, the bali dân—a gift that results in a 'noble death'. The warrior can offer the sacrifice or be offered in sacrifice. In Maoist ideology, death loses its character of reciprocity since the inter-changeability of victims who die honorably on either side of the battle has been eliminated. The asymmetry of death, the one-sided sacrificial nature of the war, is one of the features that distinguishes the People's War from those that preceded it. Through Maoist poetry and Maoist warriors' diaries, this article explores the shift introduced by the People's War from the figure of the 'hero', traditionally attached to the warlike realm, to the new figure of the 'martyr', and shows the apocalyptic nature of the Maoist cultural production.
A Black Tiger Rite of Commemoration
Since Weber's time, it has been believed that 'enchantment' progressively gave way to secular rationalism and its disenchanted ways. This essay breaks the twinning of enchantment with 'irrationality' in developing the argument that enchanted practices and pragmatic methods co-exist fruitfully in the activities of the LTTE. Circumstantial evidence, arising from pictures and descriptions of hero rituals sponsored by the LTTE, provides the foundation for this argument. It is suggested that the Saivite universe of being has nourished these symbolic compositions. A photograph of Black Tigers paying homage to their dead with guns in the left hand and flowers in the right provides a condensed demonstration as well as a point of departure for this suggestion. It is a moment of conjunctiveness that has the potential to fuse past, present, and future, thus achieving 'fusion force'.