The “Missing Testimony” of the Precarious Migrant in Hassan Blasim’s Short Stories

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Humanitas - Uluslararası Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, vol.9, no.18, pp.96-111, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


This article argues that Hassan Blasim’s short story selection, The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq, distinctively portrays the migrant resistance to the state of precarity inherent in the experience of migration and statelessness. Adopting Agamben’s concept of “testimony”, this article offers a comparative analysis of how migrants use language to narratively construct their testimonies within the context of the global North and global South, respectively. Narrative qua testimony-giving will be shown to highlight a linguistic form of resistance that redefines the meaning of precarity and safety upon which migration law is founded. It is within this linguistic form of resistance that the promise of salvation from precarity lies, a salvation, however, that can only be achieved through an Agambenian ‘play with the law’, potentially creating alternative meanings of safety and precarity fundamental to all law.