Judith Butler – Precarious Life

Does successful grieving exist and if yes, what does that mean? Does it mean to forget someone we have lost? Or that something/someone else takes the place? Those questions are not easy to answer and it was interesting and at the same unsettling to read Butler’s text with the ISIS attacks that just happened in e.g. Paris and Lebanon on mind. It seems like a tragic coincidence that we are reading Butler’s text just a few days after these attacks happened.

It is just as Butler states; the problem is that terrorism has become “limitless”. I read this article and found it to be quite appropriate: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/14/islamic-state-goes-global-paris-attacks

The article suggests that ISIS has gone global with the Paris attacks. However, can it really be a surprise to anyone that ISIS is trying to expand its campaign of terror? I personally think that this question can only be answered with No. Maybe there was a slight hope that an attack like the one at the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 would not happen again/could be prevented next time but the recent attacks should be proof enough that ISIS will not stop until it is completely defeated.

I also thought that Butler’s argument about how we mourn different people in different ways was very thought provoking. The situation can actually be seen right now. How much of the Paris attacks is covered in the news and how much about the recent attacks in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, and Palestine? What is the reason for this? Do we really allow ourselves to value those people’s lives in different ways? And if yes, how can we change this?

One last thought along with this: Why is it that FB only lets us put the national flag of France as the backgrounds of our profile pictures right now? If they offer this option in the first case, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to also offer flags of other countries that have been targeted recently?

-Chantal M.

Leave a Reply