Foucauldian biopower, homo sacer and resistance under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan
Keywords:Afghanistan, Giorgio Agamben, Mitchel Foucault, Femina Scara, Taliban, homo sacer, resistance, power, agency, biopolitics
This paper uses a qualitative discourse analysis to examine the plight of women under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan (1996-2001) as depicted in Siddiq Barmak’s film Osama. Contributing to the debates on the status of women during a regime of terror under the Taliban the paper uses Foucault’s biopolitics and Agamben’s concept of homo sacer to analyse how women under the Taliban rule were subjected to the technologies of control and regulation and reduced to bare lives stripped of their basic rights. It also critically examines resistance as depicted in the film as a survival strategy for women in the face of a tyrannical regime. The paper argues that though resistance, which is ‘a weapon of the weak,’ does not promise a change in the destiny, it still reflects the agency of women and a challenge to the hegemonic masculine order. We conclude by arguing that through the ‘use of memory’, as a mode of resistance the film sends out a message to all the stakeholders to keep in mind the atrocities and violence experienced by the people in Afghanistan, particularly women while striking any political deal with the Taliban.
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