Starve and Immolate : The Politics of Human Weapons (New Directions in Critical Theory)
- ÜRÜNÜN BULUNDUĞU ŞUBELERİMİZ
- Koç Üniversitesi
Starve and Immolate tells the story of leftist political prisoners in Turkey who waged a deadly struggle against the introduction of high security prisons by forging their lives into weapons. Through an innovative approach that weaves together contemporary and critical political theory with political ethnography, Starve and Immolate analyzes the death fast struggle as an exemplary but not exceptional instance of self-destructive practices that should be understood as a consequence of, retort to, and refusal of the increasingly biopolitical forms of sovereign power deployed as a response to terrorism around the globe.
The Turkish state's pursuit of high security prisons based on cellular confinement, which would reconfigure traditional wards allowing political prisoners to live a communism in practice, led to a protracted movement in which dozens of political prisoners starved and immolated themselves. Banu Bargu chronicles the experiences, rituals, values, beliefs, ideological self-representations, and contentions of these protesters against the history of Turkish democracy and the treatment of dissent in a country where prisons have become sites of political confrontation. Bargu connects the increasing turn to self-destructive practices with the revamping of Turkish state sovereignty through a process of biopolitical securitization against terrorism.
A critical response to Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish, Starve and Immolate centers on new forms of struggle that arise from the asymmetric antagonism between the state and its contestants in the contemporary prison. Bargu ultimately positions the weaponization of life as an emergent repertoire of political action, a bleak, violent, and ambivalent form of insurgent politics that seeks to wrench the power of life and death away from the modern state on corporeal grounds and increasingly theologized forms. Drawing attention to the existential commitment, sacrificial morality, and militant martyrdom that transforms these struggles into a complex amalgam of resistance, Bargu advances a critical-theoretical interpretation of human weapons that explores the global ramifications of their practices of resistance, as well as their possibilities and limitations.