Chapter

Damnatio Memoriae

Hamid Dabashi

in Speaking about Torture

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242245
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242283 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823242245.003.0011
Damnatio Memoriae

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Analyzing public debates on the atrocities committed in Abu Ghraib Prison on the one hand and those committed in Iran’s Kahrizak Prison on the other, this chapter argues that in the Iranian case, facts are buried under an absence of evidence, while in the United States facts relating to the atrocities in Abu Ghriab are overexposed. Yet the end result of both processes--underexposure of Kahrizak and overexposure of Abu Ghraib -- is the same: a damnation of memory, a removal from remembrance. The difference in the two processes highlights two diametrically opposed visual regimes that the chapter explores in relation to Iranian and Hollywood film cultures and U.S.-European film studies.

Keywords: Kahrizak Prison; Abu Ghraib Prison; Naked life; Homo sacer; Society of spectacle; Society of spectacle; Mehdi Karrubi; Hyperrealization; Giorgio Agamben; Shirin Neshat

Chapter.  9337 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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