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Showing posts from November 5, 2023

Gaza Babies and Achille Mbembe's Necropolitics: Doubt, Scandal, and the Palestinian's abyss

Where is a middle ground in a polarization of the discourses of hope and the discourses of despair? How do ‘we’ feel about our consumption of breaking news about war?    “‘Surgeries have had to stop,’ said the hospital’s director, Dr. Mohamed Abu Salmiya. ‘Kidney dialysis has stopped and the neonatal unit is in a very dire situation. A baby has died because of lack of oxygen and electricity and heat.’ …The hospital has more than three dozen premature babies in incubators, Medhat Abbas, the director-general of Gaza’s Health Ministry, said in a text message on Saturday”–Raja Abdulrahim, Ameera Harouda and Alan Yuhas, “ Plight of Gaza’s Main Hospital Worsens as Israeli Defense Force Close In ” 12 Nov. 2023 New York Times.    In reality, as opposed to the social construction of discourses, war is not a topic of conversation among soldiers alone (take Brian de Palma’s Redacted for example of a fictional retelling of U.S. soldiers in Iraq as point of view shifts to interpret a father mournin

Holding the Tension: A Bystander's Metaphor in Colum McCann's Apeirogon

The many-sided truth is thematically at the heart of Colum McCann’s Apeirogon, a shape with infinite sides. In a dramatic scene, the high-wire artist who McCann previously had described in As the Great World Spins makes a return, this time in an act crossing a valley uniting Palestinian and Israeli observers in awe. Spectacle and symbol unite when a dove perches on Petit’s head. The bird’s talons clutch his scalp. Dazed by pain he holds his balance bar still,  only narrowing his focus. Then. As the bird flaps, he sets one foot ahead on the tightrope. He moves forward and the claws release. A photographer’s image shows the dove flapping a foot over the artist’s head.  The narrator has switched view to observe an artefact reproducing the scene. Notice the camera in the photographer’s hands. Held on a strap around a man’s neck under his checkered Kafia. A sympathetic foreigner, not a casual observer. It could be a Nikon, examining Petit’s absence of fear with a highly-powered lens. Above