Patriotism and valor are in your blood: necropolitical subjectivities in The Terrorist (1999) | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1756-4921
  • E-ISSN: 1756-493X


This essay uses Santosh Sivan's art film and its portrayal of a female suicide bomber as the basis for exploring discourses on terrorism that often dismiss the explosive politics of suicide bombers as unequivocally immoral and irrational and take as a given the notion that female combatants are subservient to patriarchal models in contexts of war. The essay draws from social theory, particularly Achille Mbembe's Necropolitics, to consider the ways in which subjectivities are marginalized and rendered invisible in violent societies, and how the suicide bomber complicates the paradigms by which such subjectivities are deemed to be alive. The essay then moves into textual analysis of the film to consider the ways in which its art-cinema style negotiates these matters by portraying the central conflict between individual and social death that challenge how we register the motivations behind suicide bombings and the intellectual discussions that frame them.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): art cinema; Foucault; necropolitics; suicide bombers; terrorism
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