State violence and death politics in
post-revolutionary Iran 1
Chowra Makaremi 2
From 9 January to 19 July 2012, the Iranian daily Gooya News,
one of the Iranian diaspora’s main information sites, published
a series of forty-one articles, entitled ‘Interviews with a torture
and rape witness’. The tortures and rapes in question were from
the period of violent state repression that gripped the Islamic
Republic throughout the 1980s. The interviews give voice to the
anonymous testimony of an official involved in the penitentiary
and judicial sphere of that period
, and the revelation of more complex logics? This
third context is the subject of part III, ‘Logics’, in which we place
Chowra Makaremi’s contribution showing that the treatment of
the bodies of Iranian dissidents forms part of the logic of building
a revolutionary state (chapter 7), Nicky Rousseau’s contribution
highlighting of the properly political aspects of the breaking
up of the body in apartheid South Africa (chapter 8), and Rémi
Korman’s nuanced reconstruction of the ideological and symbolic
foundations of the massacre of victims in Rwanda, and particularly
– for the good reason that we would be crushed if we could see him. So great is the beauty and glory of God. In fact we would be crushed if we could see just a tiny bit of paradise. If, for example, just the veil of one of the beautiful women of paradise were to show in this world, then all the space between the earth and up to the first sky would explode in divine light.’
At this point in the presentation I begin to feel as though I am losing members of the audience. An Iranian psychiatrist interrupts the talk. He asks me where I got this
became increasingly dangerous for international humanitarian
organizations. Difficulties accessing populations in distress dated back
more than twenty years to the time of the Iran–Iraq war
(1980–1988). The establishment of an embargo (1990) and the
international military offensive in response to the invasion of Kuwait
(1991) only served to exacerbate the lack of access. The embargo
continued until 2003
trapped by one's own image”.’
Recollecting Hossein Valamanesh's field installation Dwelling , I can see a pattern here, a shared desire to inhabit Australia differently. Valamanesh moved to Adelaide in 1974, a year after immigrating to Australia from Iran. In 1980 he ‘proposed and built Dwelling, a Middle Eastern-style house which appeared like an apparition amid the scattered trees of [Adelaide's] East Parklands’.
area called Daraa Al Balad [Daraa downtown]. There was fighting between
the two areas. We went there to check on the injured people and give
them the first aid. Then the army of Bashar Al Assad shot at me”
(RSP8, Syrian, M). None of the participants from Syria referred to ISIS
as a source of injury, but some mentioned Iran
as a source of political conflict.
the destabilisation of the Middle East, massive waves of refugees and immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Egypt
started inundating the Aegean islands, which have become a principal entry point to
the EU (see Figure 8.1). Although accurate data remains unavailable, it is estimated
that in the period 2007–8 the number of arrested ‘illegal’ immigrants entering the
Aegean was 29,000 (Troumpeta 2012: 21). The construction of a wall in the region
of Evros in 2012 in an effort to deter border crossers entering from Turkey, coupled
with the turmoil in Syria
Claire Beaudevin, Jean-Paul Gaudillière, Christoph Gradmann, Anne M. Lovell, and Laurent Pordié
Behrouzan , O.
( 2016 ) Prozak Diaries: Psychiatry and Generational Memory in Iran . Stanford : Stanford University Press .
Bhattacharya , S.
( 2006 ) Expunging Variola: The Control and Eradication of Smallpox in India, 1947–1977 . New Delhi and London : Orient Longman India and Sangam Books .
Birn , A.-E.
( 2005 ) ‘ Gates's grandest challenge: transcending
witnessing. Drawing upon
Shapin and Schaffer’s (1985) concept of the virtual witness, I argue that the College’s
success depends largely on the visual spectacle of its lamps and solar training to
enrol supporters worldwide.
1 The 1973 oil crisis was initiated by an oil embargo by the Organisation of Arab Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OAPEC) members. The embargo by OAPEC, the leading supplier
of crude oil to the West, led to the pursuit of alternative energy sources, which were
less dependent on one source. The 1979 oil crisis occurred in the wake of the Iranian
This interview was not part of the RM-VA, but held in the context of the academic paper of a student named Mahur Hesamiashrafi. The student belongs to the first generation of Iranian migrants which facilitated her access to the Irani informants.
Anonymisation procedures were followed