Employing iconic religious imagery to send messages about a modern day problem, the new “Abused Goddesses” Campaign highlighting domestic violence in India is garnering attention. Hand-painted images (based on photos of live models) of bruised, battered, and beaten Hindu goddesses are followed by this caption:
Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.
If terror thrives on the production of epistemic murk and metamorphosis, it nevertheless requires the hermeneutic violence that creates feeble fictions in the guise of realism, objectivity, and the like, flattening contradiction and systematizing chaos.
A frontier is an edge of space and time: a zone of not yet–not yet mapped, not yet regulated. It is a zone of unmapping: even in its planning, a frontier is imagined as unplanned. Frontiers aren’t just discovered at the edge; they are projects in making geographical and temporal experience. Frontiers make wildness, entangling visions and vines and violence; their wildness is both material and imaginative. The wildness reaches backward as well as forward in time, bringing old forms of savagery to life in the contemporary landscape. Frontiers energize old fantasies, even as they embody their impossibilities.
– Walter Benjamin on legal vs. mythical violence in his essay, ‘Critique of Violence’
– Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben (and Karl Schmitt and… the list is long) on law and mystification, on the state of nature & the social contract, the State/Leviathan, etc. Primitivism and notions of “progress” are just some of what comes in the wake of these mythical-juridical terrors.