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Dead Bodies, Affective States and Volatile Icons

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An Iconology of Hrant Dink

image of Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

Dead bodies are symbolically effective in the context of politics, and enjoy a particular connection with affect. The mass-mediated mobilizations around Hrant Dink and the dead body of Dink suggest that there is indeed something about Katherine Verdery’s insight. Dink was a Turkish citizen of Armenian descent, editor, civic activist and a controversial public figure in Turkey. He was assassinated in 2007. Rather than focusing on the Armenian aspect in context of Turkish nationalism in order to grasp the efficacy of Dink and of his dead body, this article dwells on the intertwinement between his dead body and experiences of state subjects in Turkey. I argue that the efficacy of Dink, the semantic and affective density generated by way of the dead body, is produced in a conjuncture where neither meanings around the body and the person it embodied, nor of the state will stabilize.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


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