Extra-Legal Legality: Orientalism and Biopolitics in a State of Exception

Igbinedion Obaretin


With recourse to the poetry of Guantanamo’s detainees, this article describes the extra-legal legality that typifies the conception and activities of post-9/11 terror-suspect prison camps. It argues that the state of exception, which has become integral in the war on terror, is not a product of necessity, but a reflection of the interplay between biopolitics, biopower, and Orientalism in the post-9/11 era. By considering the ways in which Guantanamo detainees employ poetry to plead their innocence and exhibit their suffering body as political subjects and objects, this article pays careful attention to the aesthetics of Guantanamo poetry and how it reveals the poets’ individual humanity against the fabric of the brutality and illegality packaged ironically as the ‘war on terror’.


Orientalism, Biopolitics, Biopower, State of Exception, Homo Sacer (Bare Life) and Aesthetics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijclts.v.6n.3p.1


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