University of Otago
As we close the year 2012, three months short of a decade after the invasion of Iraq, it pays to recollect that what took place in the early hours of 20 March 2003 has completely altered the socio-political and cultural map of the world. The rise of new, refined modalities of surveillance, torture and imprisonment, increased racial profiling, obscene border-control policies and practices, intensified military killings, non-recognition of sovereign rights of nations and citizens, and the brutal dissemination of the power of Empire have become de rigueur in this redrawn socio-political and cultural cartography. We live, as the philosopher and political theorist Georgio Agamben calls it, in a ‘state of exception’ where all established notions of rights are reconstituted and a ‘new “normal” bio-political relationship between citizens and the state’ (2004) becomes the rule. And increasingly, we are being told that we should not only get used to this new biopolitical regime, most eloquently captured in the globally-circulating slogan ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, but that we should be resilient against this danger of terror so that things can return to normal, as they were, before the crisis and trauma of the war on terror.
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© borderlands ejournal 2012