Active Ruination (ISIS)

I uploaded my article on “active ruination” (namely ISIS’s affective ruining the space practices) on academia.edu. Years will pass before I get it published so it might as well just dwell there

ISIS: Active Ruination and Performativity of Public Execution

As atrocious actions, public executions and world-making endeavors of ISIS analyzed in terms of performativity open the space for questioning the dominant ideas of history and politics. ISIS released the video of the shooting of 25 Syrian soldiers at the Palmyra ruins in the beginning of June, 2014. On the video, the executioners, most of whom appear to be teenagers, parade the soldiers on the scene of the amphitheater, kneel them down and shoot. The Palmyra amphitheater is present as a visible two-fold reminder of spectacle: as arena of violence and the metaphor for the arena of violence. A crowd, children among them, watched the execution. I argue that the public executions serve several goals for ISIS: not only does ISIS compose propaganda messages, but the very lawlessness and atrociousness of the executions function as a powerful claim of the group’s legitimacy as a state in the ISIS imaginaries. Through the staged executions, ISIS seeks to create the world of power which is alternative to the Western world. In the process of creation of this world, ISIS generates landscapes of violence, and produces spaces haunted by killings. An attempt to redefine ancient ruins and to reenact medieval executions, is a claim to build a world of alternative historicism.

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Robot and Ruin at UT

It is confirmed that I am reading a lecture at the University of Texas at Austin in the Fall semester of 2016, in the course Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Professor James Slotta), on the 17th of October, 2-3 PM, ART 1.102.

The lecture is titled Robot and Ruin: Nostalgic / Ethnographic Object.

The reading to the lecture is an amazing essay A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century, written by Donna Haraway in 1985, accessible on the Internet as a PDF for those who are interested.

Please get ready.