9/11 and the Muslim Other

Ungrievable Lives: The Ghosts of 9/11

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project statement

"What makes for a grievable life? Who counts as human? Whose lives count as lives?"

- Judith Butler, “Precarious Life,” 2004.

This work seeks to examine the differential values placed on human life as it has emerged in the post-9/11 political discourse. The victims of 9/11 no doubt suffered a horrible death, and the national and international mourning that followed in the wake of 9/11 was understandable. As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, indeed we will re-perform our acts of mourning and remembrance.

We lost 2,983* American lives on 9/11/2001, and in the past decade, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed 911,931** Iraqi and Afghani lives. Judith Butler calls these as “ungrievable” lives, for to grieve them is to declare oneself unpatriotic to the US nation, and sympathetic to the “enemy.”

It seems to me that the 9/11 victims are the gold standard of a grievable life. This work seeks to apprehend the value of one American life in terms of non-American lives. How does the scale tilt in terms of grievable and ungrievable lives?

With this work, I seek to perform the unpatriotic act of mourning and remembering the humanity of the ungrievable 911,931 Iraqi and Afghani civilians and troops that have lost their lives in the last decade.

*Figures from http://www.911memorial.org/

**Figures from http://www.unknownnews.org/casualties.html

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This work seeks to examine the differential values placed on human life as it emerged in the post-9/11 political discourse. The victims of 9/11 no doubt suffered a horrible death, and the national and international mourning that followed in the wake of 9/11 was understandable.

With this work, I seek to perform the unpatriotic act of mourning and remembering the humanity of the ungrievable Iraqi and Afghani civilians and troops that lost their lives in the decade after 9/11

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9/11 Anti-Memorial Project

Project Notes

What to learn more about 9/11 Anti-Memorial Project project?

 

The 9/11 Anti-Memorial Project comprises artworks that engage with the post-9/11 US and global socio-political issues, from a counter-memory perspective.

 

The artworks in this project are anti-memorials to 9/11, a traumatic geopolitical event, and highlight narratives that were erased from mainstream discourses of 9/11. It also seeks to make connections with 9/11-type attacks worldwide, in India, London, Paris, and Madrid.