Politics in trauma times: of subjectivity, war, and humanitarian intervention

Maria João Ferreira, Pedro F. Marcelino
2011 Ethics & Global Politics  
Palace of the End 1 is a dense triptych of monologues exploring alternative narratives*albeit based in real facts*behind the events and the headlines surrounding the war in Iraq. Borrowing its title from the former royal palace where Saddam Hussein's torture chamber was located, Thompson's docudrama is structured as a chain of monologues telling three real-life stories set in the context of the war in Iraq. The play conveys three unconventional interpretations of the realities of war: that of a
more » ... s of war: that of a young American soldier convicted for her misconduct at Abu Ghraib, the prison that stands as one of the most controversial symbols of the American-led Iraq invasion; a British scientist and weapons inspector who denounces what he understands as the false arguments given by his country's leaders for engaging in a distant war; and an Iraqi mother whose life was shattered firstly by Saddam Hussein's authoritarian regime, and later by the American first Gulf War. Each story is an enthralling and gut-wrenching reflection of one of the contemporary world's most studied and controversial conflicts. The play gives voice to three different kinds of war victims, insofar as their political subjectivities and their moral conundrums are concerned. 2 The first monologue, titled My Pyramids, depicts the intensely mediatized case of Lynndie England, an American soldier who was judged and convicted in 2005 for the sexual torture of several Iraqi detainees in the prison of Abu Ghraib. The second monologue, Harrowdown Hill, was inspired by the unclear events that surrounded the death of British scientist and UN weapons inspector David Kelly, who, in 2003, denounced his country's premises for the invasion of Iraq as misleading. The third monologue, Instruments of Yearning, is based on the life story of Nehrjas Al Saffarh,
doi:10.3402/egp.v4i2.5984 fatcat:abijg5shdvgf7ecby5iujg7ium