Facing torture through art and the afterlives of war: behind the mask

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The nexus between art and torture has a long history, yet the discipline of IR has largely failed to engage with this potent affective/aesthetic site and the critical opening up of unseen possibilities around ‘knowing’ torture that such engagements engender. In response, this chapter considers US veteran artist, Eli Wright, a former combat medic in Iraq, and his artwork, Torture Mask Triptych, in attempts to open up these possibilities. In its exploration of torture via a narrative approach, this chapter embraces a scholarship of discomfort to unveil multiple contestations, in terms of the sites and subjects under examination and the modes of (un)knowing it pursues. To view torture as/from a site of discomfort reveals troubling slippages in understandings of/around (the) tortured, torturer, and torturing that in turn lead to more subversive and destabilising critical insights around torture and its contestation in the War on Terror.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContesting torture
Subtitle of host publicationinterdiscplinary perspectives
EditorsRory Cox, Faye Donnelly, Anthony Lang Jr.
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780429343445
ISBN (Print)9780367360351, 9781032308692
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2022

Publication series

NameContemporary security studies


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