Ground War: Soil, Supplements, and Suffering in Afghanistan
Schlagworte:ground, fertiliser, war, explosives, bodily destruction
This paper considers the place of the earthen ground in modern and modernist Afghan history and its relation to contemporary violence. I undertake an analysis of the place of the ground in twentieth century developmental schemes; the relationship between synthetic fertilisers and explosive devices; and the resurgence of corporeal and social violence. By considering the role of agricultural practices – like the use of synthetic and nitrogenous fertilisers – and connecting these to the contemporary proliferation of military grade landmines and improvised explosive devices, I argue that the ground extends both conflict and corporeal destruction in unpredictable ways. Using the supplement as conceptual lens, I reveal how modern supplements introduced into the ground have become a source of the ground’s contamination and of dismembered bodies, which are themselves in need of prosthetic aid.
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