SEGNI DI GUERRA. Mutilazione e decolonizzazione del corpo

Matteo Meschiari


War signs. Mutilation of the body and decolonization

This collection of images is an excerpt from a broader project. The aim is to gather an atlas of bodily forms in which social and biological “norms” are called into question by irreversible physical conditions. The idea is to explore the boundary lines, or areas of instability, where the identity process, of recognition and exclusion, are at play. The project does not regard the ontology or the sociology of disability but rather the images (how they work, how they are interpreted). In this table I have collected in chronological order 15 photographs of war wounded, from the American Civil War to more recent confl icts. If war is a colonial act, then the wounded and amputated body of civilians and soldiers is probably the place where victim and critic of this colonial act coincide. More generally speaking, images of the physical signs of war are an observatory on the mechanisms of the collective imagination of the human body. They are also the fi rst step towards refl ecting on the necessity of decolonizing this imagination. The images’ captions are merely fi eld notes, more useful for triggering refl ections than for launching analytical discourse.


War, Colonialism, Body, Disability Studies, Cultural Studies


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