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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Abir Hamdar

Hamdar, Abir (2018). The Syrian Corpse: The Politics of Dignity in Visual and Media Representations of the Syrian Revolution. Journal for Cultural Research 22(1): 73-89.

Author(s) from Durham


This essay explores the material, phenomenological and political meaning of the Syrian corpse and the question of its dignity as represented in a series of media and visual outputs from 2011 to the present. The essay begins by arguing that the violence in Syria now targets the dead as much as the living. As such, the essay highlights the forms of ‘necroviolence’ that the Syrian corpse has been subjected to: mistreatment, erasure of markers of identity, denial of burial, mutilation and ultimately an attempt to erase it from memory. The essay concludes by arguing that the Syrian corpse is not merely the passive subject or victim of ‘necroviolence’ but can also become the paradoxical agent of what we might call ‘postmortem resistance’.