Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Unwrapping Abu Ghraib

After handing in the Abu Ghraib prison back to the Iraqi government I believe we can shed some light on the termites gnawing issue of the Abu Ghraib scandal.

Social identities are pretty much expressed in material and visual culture; however, when both are combined then ‘wrapping’ to protect those identities will be the logical outcome.

The conduct of the American interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison was in fact to unwrap and ‘de-tattooing’ the cultural identity of the Iraqi people by the ‘redeployment’ of human bodies within new social landscape.

Changing the lines of a body will result in removing the ethnic identities which have been transcended for many generations through a religion of book, kinships, villages and towns trades and borders. The final ‘subjectified objective’ is to reshape the ‘personhood’ of a society in order to prevail and to eventually exercise power.

The humans pyramid shape of exposed anuses of Iraqi prisoners was an interpretation of Americans defiance through associating excrement discharge to their experience. By doing so the Americans have blatantly challenged the world community with their unpopular war; also, the pyramid represented a new collective order that have replaced the old one. That particular piece of display perhaps demonstrated the unfathomable abyss of the Americans psychoanalytical ‘climax’.

The Abu Ghraib style interrogation was never about gaining information about the resistance. Most people in this sort of biz know very well the ‘proper’ ways for garnering such data.

Body mutilation, humiliation etc. had been for thousands years part of ancestral comportment to redefine, punish or introduce new social orders in peoples’ lives. In mankind early dwellings, pledging to new social roles required isolation, genital mutilation and even animals threat to achieve embodiment of social identities or to re-group social genders. The body in the end becomes a ‘political field’.

Emotions and possessions are well secured underneath the cloths. And when a person is stripped off its protection then he/she will enter into a rite of passage that is dictated by the powerful (those who possess power to strip others).

The stripped body can be trained, tortured, carried out tasks and even to perform ceremonies and emit social signals. The powerful will not only seek control over the redefined social bodies but to exhibit to the rest of the communities the self-granted power they possess over others, and in absence of ancestral or natural birth laws.

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