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Sharon Mayfield
Sharon Mayfield

Lovecidal: Walking With The Disappeared - A Powerful Book on the Trauma of War and Violence

Lovecidal: Walking With The Disappeared - A Powerful Book on the Trauma of War and Violence

If you are looking for a book that will challenge your perspective on the world and its history, you might want to check out Lovecidal: Walking With The Disappeared by Trinh T. Minh-ha. This book is not a conventional academic or journalistic work, but rather a poetic and philosophical exploration of the effects of war and violence on human lives and societies.

Lovecidal Walking With The Disappeared Books Pdf File

Lovecidal: Walking With The Disappeared was published in 2016 by Fordham University Press. It is a collection of essays, reflections, and dialogues that span various topics and regions, such as Vietnam, Iraq, Palestine, Rwanda, Cambodia, and Japan. The author, Trinh T. Minh-ha, is a renowned filmmaker, writer, and professor of gender and women's studies and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. She is known for her innovative and experimental approach to documentary filmmaking and cultural criticism.

The book's title, Lovecidal, is a term coined by Trinh to describe the condition of living in a world that is constantly at war and killing its own people. She writes: "Lovecidal is not suicidal. Nor is it genocidal. It speaks of a will to live that is so strong that it can no longer bear being part of the killing machine" (p. 3). She argues that the dominant narratives of war and violence are often distorted, sanitized, or silenced by the media, the state, and the military-industrial complex. She calls for a radical rethinking of the concepts of justice, peace, and human rights in the face of mass atrocities and suffering.

One of the main themes of the book is the notion of walking with the disappeared. This refers to the act of solidarity and resistance that involves accompanying those who have been killed, tortured, or erased by war and violence. Trinh draws inspiration from various movements and practices that have used walking as a form of protest, mourning, or healing, such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, the Zapatistas in Mexico, or the Buddhist monks in Vietnam. She writes: "Walking with the disappeared is walking for them and with them in spirit. It is also walking in place of themwalking so they can walk; walking so they can return" (p. 5).

The book is divided into four parts: Part I: In Praise of Disobedience; Part II: Between Seeing and Being Seen; Part III: Crossing Indochina; Part IV: In Memory of an Event. Each part contains several chapters that explore different aspects of war and violence, such as memory, trauma, resistance, ethics, aesthetics, and spirituality. The book is written in a lyrical and poetic style that blends personal anecdotes, historical facts, philosophical insights, and artistic expressions. The book also includes several photographs and illustrations that complement the text.

One of the most intriguing parts of the book is Part IV: In Memory of an Event, which focuses on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Trinh examines the ethical and political implications of these events, as well as the cultural and artistic representations of them. She critiques the dominant narratives that justify the use of nuclear weapons as a means to end the war and save lives, and exposes the hypocrisy and racism behind them. She also explores the testimonies and memories of the survivors, or hibakusha, and their struggles for recognition and justice. She writes: "The hibakusha are not only victims but also witnesses and messengers. They are the living dead who have returned from hell to tell their stories and warn humanity of the horrors of nuclear war" (p. 227).

Trinh also analyzes the works of various artists and filmmakers who have attempted to portray the atomic bombings and their aftermath, such as John Hersey, Alain Resnais, Akira Kurosawa, Isao Takahata, and others. She discusses the challenges and limitations of representing such an unimaginable event, and the ethical and aesthetic choices involved in doing so. She argues that these works are not only artistic expressions, but also acts of resistance and remembrance. She writes: "Art is not a luxury but a necessity in times of war and violence. It is a way of reclaiming one's humanity and dignity, of affirming one's existence and voice, of creating a space for dialogue and healing" (p. 249).

Another interesting part of the book is Part III: Crossing Indochina, which focuses on the history and culture of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Trinh revisits her homeland of Vietnam and reflects on the legacy of the Vietnam War, or the American War as it is known there. She also travels to Cambodia and Laos and witnesses the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide and the secret bombing campaigns by the U.S. She explores the complex and intertwined relationships among these three countries, as well as their struggles for independence and sovereignty. She writes: "Indochina is a name that speaks of colonial violence and resistance. It is also a name that evokes a sense of shared destiny and solidarity among peoples who have suffered immensely from wars and foreign interventions" (p. 153).

Trinh also delves into the rich and diverse cultural expressions of Indochina, such as literature, music, art, architecture, and religion. She pays special attention to the role of women and their contributions to the social and political movements of these countries. She also examines the challenges and opportunities that these countries face in the era of globalization and neoliberalism. She writes: "Indochina is a place that is constantly changing and reinventing itself. It is a place that is full of contradictions and paradoxes. It is a place that is both haunted by the past and hopeful for the future" (p. 177).

A third part of the book that is worth mentioning is Part II: Between Seeing and Being Seen, which focuses on the role of vision and visuality in war and violence. Trinh examines how war and violence are mediated and represented by various technologies and institutions, such as cameras, drones, satellites, screens, and museums. She questions the assumptions and ideologies that underlie the production and consumption of these images, and the effects they have on the viewers and the viewed. She writes: "Seeing is not a neutral act. It is a political act that involves power, knowledge, and desire. It is also an ethical act that implicates the responsibility and accountability of the seer" (p. 79).

Trinh also explores the possibilities and limitations of alternative modes of seeing and being seen, such as listening, touching, feeling, dreaming, and imagining. She argues that these modes can offer a more complex and nuanced understanding of war and violence, as well as a more empathetic and compassionate relation to the other. She writes: "Seeing is not enough. It is not enough to see the suffering of others. It is not enough to see the injustice of the world. It is not enough to see the beauty of life. We need to also hear, touch, feel, dream, and imagine with them" (p. 111).

The first part of the book, Part I: In Praise of Disobedience, sets the tone and the framework for the rest of the book. It introduces the main concepts and themes that Trinh will explore throughout the book, such as lovecidal, walking with the disappeared, disobedience, and blind energy. It also provides a critique of the dominant paradigms and discourses that shape our understanding and experience of war and violence, such as democracy, humanism, civilization, and progress. It challenges us to question our own complicity and responsibility in the global system of oppression and exploitation. It writes: "Disobedience is not a negative act. It is a positive act that affirms one's autonomy and dignity. It is a creative act that opens up new possibilities and alternatives. It is a courageous act that defies injustice and tyranny" (p. 37).

Trinh also offers some insights and suggestions on how to resist and transform the status quo, such as cultivating a critical consciousness, practicing nonviolence, embracing diversity, and creating communities of care. She draws inspiration from various sources and traditions, such as Buddhism, feminism, postcolonialism, anarchism, and indigenous wisdom. She writes: "Disobedience is not a solitary act. It is a collective act that involves solidarity and collaboration. It is a joyful act that celebrates life and freedom. It is a loving act that nurtures hope and compassion" (p. 61).

In addition to being a prolific writer and theorist, Trinh T. Minh-ha is also an acclaimed filmmaker and composer. She has made nine feature-length films that have been widely screened and awarded at international film festivals. Her films are known for their experimental and innovative style, as well as their critical and poetic approach to various topics, such as gender, culture, identity, migration, and representation. Some of her most notable films are Reassemblage (1982), which explores the lives of women in rural Senegal; Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989), which examines the experiences of Vietnamese women during and after the Vietnam War; The Fourth Dimension (2001), which reflects on the digital revolution and its impact on time and space; and Forgetting Vietnam (2015), which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

Trinh T. Minh-ha is also a composer who has created original scores for her own films, as well as for other artists' works. She has collaborated with various musicians and performers, such as Jean-Paul Bourdier, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, Pauline Oliveros, and Dohee Lee. She has also created multimedia installations that combine sound, image, text, and performance. Some of her installations are Nothing But Ways (1999), The Desert Is Watching (2003), Old Land New Waters (2007), and L'Autre marche (2012).

If you are interested in reading Lovecidal: Walking With The Disappeared, you can get a copy of the book from various sources. The book is published by Fordham University Press and is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats. You can order the book directly from the publisher's website, or from other online retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Google Play. You can also check if your local library has a copy of the book, or request it through interlibrary loan. Alternatively, you can access a free PDF version of the book from the Internet Archive, where you can also find some of Trinh T. Minh-ha's other books.


Lovecidal: Walking With The Disappeared is a remarkable book that offers a lyrical, philosophical, and critical meditation on the global state of endless war and the violence inflicted by the imperial need to claim victory. Trinh T. Minh-ha challenges us to question the dominant narratives and paradigms that shape our understanding and experience of war and violence, and to explore the possibilities and limitations of alternative modes of seeing and being seen. She also invites us to walk with the disappeared, to accompany those who have been killed, tortured, or erased by war and violence, and to resist and transform the status quo with love, compassion, and creativity. The book is a testament to Trinh T. Minh-ha's visionary and interdisciplinary work as a filmmaker, writer, composer, and theorist, and a valuable contribution to the fields of gender and women's studies, rhetoric, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, film studies, and philosophy. b99f773239


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