Cover of Ronak Kapadia's book Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War. Cover shows Mahwish Chisty's Drone Art painting "Untitled" (2015) of a multicolored drone

Insurgent Aesthetics:

Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War

Author: Ronak Kapadia

Duke University Press, 2019

Art History Publication Initiative Series

Services: Editing, Indexing

In Insurgent Aesthetics, Ronak K. Kapadia theorizes the world-making power of contemporary art responses to US militarism in the Greater Middle East.

He traces how new forms of remote killing, torture, confinement, and surveillance have created a distinctive post-9/11 infrastructure of racialized state violence.

Linking these new forms of violence to the history of American imperialism and conquest, Kapadia shows how Arab, Muslim, and South Asian diasporic multimedia artists force a reckoning with the US War on Terror's violent destruction and its impacts on immigrant and refugee communities.

Drawing on an eclectic range of visual, installation, and performance works, Kapadia reveals queer feminist decolonial critiques of the US security state that visualize subjugated histories of US militarism and make palpable what he terms “the sensorial life of empire.”

In this way, these artists forge new aesthetic and social alliances that sustain critical opposition to the global war machine and create alternative ways of knowing and feeling beyond the forever war.

*Book description from publisher

Cover of Ronak Kapadia's book Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War. Cover shows Mahwish Chisty's Drone Art painting "Untitled" (2015) of a multicolored drone