Mother, Politician, and Guerilla: The Emergence of a New Political Imagination in Kurdistan through Women’s Bodies and Speech

Drawing on Lacan’s analysis of Antigone, Veena Das, who has worked extensively with displaced populations in India, argues that exposure to violence forces one to occupy the limit “at which the self separates into that which can be destroyed and that which must endure” (207). When Antigone explains why she defied the law in the face of her brother’s death and disregarded the ban Creon imposed on his burial, she talks about the uniqueness and the irreplaceability of her brother. According to Lacan, at the limit where she faces her own death and yet simultaneously speaks for the nonsubstitutability of her brother, Antigone is producing a certain kind of truth about power and the law of the state that functions by erasing uniqueness and about relationships that remain unaccounted for in the operation of law. Needless to say, what makes Antigone a heroic and tragic figure imprinted in the Western imaginary is the fact that she is about to die. For many people, however, the limit from which Antigone speaks must be constructed, occupied, and endured in the everyday.


Volume 30, Number 2 DOI 10.1215/10407391-7736077
© 2019 by Brown University and d i f f e r e n c e s : A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies


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