Wednesday, March 18, 2009

القادة: الرمزيّة السياسية، المقاومة و الشهادة (The Leaders: Political Symbolism, Resistance, & Martyrdom)

فنّ الشَهيد وَ المجاهد

View the second preliminary preview of some of the political/ideological art that I have been collecting as part of my new, current research project, tentatively called, "The Art of the Martyr & Mujahid." Although I did not intend to when I first started the research for this project, I have recently been collecting art produced by transnational Sunni jihadi groups and their supporters. I view many of these groups, such as al-Qa'ida, as very different entities than nation-centered movements such as the Palestinian HAMAS and Fatah militias, and Lebanon's Hizbullah. Unlike these groups, al-Qa'ida and its sister groups operate not to achieve statehood, but for larger and often undefined (beyond the rhetoric of its leaders) goals, such as the formation of a transnational "state."

In this preview, I have followed a general theme: Leaders and Leadership, namely the iconography associated with the leaders of these groups. I have selected the examples in this fairly lengthy preview as (1) Representative samples of the artwork I have found; and, more mechanically-related, (2) Examples whose text I have had the time (thus far) to translate in the midst of other work. I could have included samples, many of them very good, without translating the text, but I feel that this would be (1) a diservice to my (small group of) readers, and (2) doing only half the work.

The next step in my research is to select a larger group of samples, and to get busy translating! Hans Wehr, Al-Mawrid, Nastik...Here I come!

View Preview #2 HERE.

View Preview #1 HERE.
Images and text in the linked documents copyrighted

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