Abdo Shanan Dry

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National Identity is loosely based on tropes of uncertain but narrow fixity: culture, language, and nationhood.  Several mitigating factors have thwarted this fundamental right to the assembly and persistence of identity in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Historically, conquest and colonial desire have eradicated the national identity of oppressed subjects through tyrannical rule. Territories and borders of nations have expanded and contracted based on hierarchical dictates, colonization, and military oppression. Violent upheaval and the inculcation of the colonized through the institutional and cultural assembly by the oppressor have worked actively to achieve disorder in the arena of rebuilding/reformation, culling the subjects of rule from their national marrow, creating a violence-enforced malleability that forms under the pressure of a new hybrid identity in which the oppressor enforces new lingua, culture, and an extreme new order to re-imagine a people and their nation without their consent or involvement.



With each institutionalized strike of the pen or lingual artillery shell filtered over generations, the parasitism of the oppressor assimilates and re-orders the original identity for its persuasive and dictatorial new order. Languages change or are combined with the oppressor’s language, cultural decrees are enforced, and spiritual endeavors are eradicated for the sake of the imagined new at best or the prior context of the oppressor at worst. Through power and violence, colonization is enlisted as a dehumanizing agent that turns the oppressed inward leaning, stripping their essence of nationhood, culture, and language and pounds them like a pestle in a mortar into a new viscous pulp to be molded through continued violence shaped to control human and nation alike. From the position of decolonization, a violent and permeating blow must be struck to recast the nation and its people from the forges of their ancestors, broken and liberated from the mold cast by their defeated oppressor’s will. Where does one, let alone the many begin the task?



Book Details:

  • Designed by Roi Saade.
  • Open spine photo book, 15.2 x 22.8 cm, 104 pages, B&W, Silver and Color Images.
  • A separate booklet contains extracts from Karima Lazali’s “Colonial Trauma: A Study of the Psychic and Political Consequences of Colonial Oppression in Algeria.”
  • Both elements are folded with a three flaps black jacket.
  • Edition of 500.
  • Self-Publish with support from La Chambre Claire. 2022.





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