Ethics and the "rough ground" of the everyday: The overlappings of life in postinvasion Iraq

Hayder Al-Mohammad, Daniela Peluso


Beyond the stories of collapse, devastation, and moral uncertainty in Iraq’s recent history there are tales of connections, relations, and the entanglements of lives which are named in forms such as friendship and family, and modes of comporting to others such as care, attention, and even love, which have yet to become part of how one thinks and writes about life after the invasion. In this article the authors draw attention to a picture of the lives of Iraqis as caught not merely in the forms and structures of tribal obligations and sectarianism, and the violence and destruction of terror, but also in the rough ground of mundane affairs and encounters. We argue that in the overlappings and relations of lives and intentionalities resides an intercorporeal ethics of the rough ground of the everyday. An ethics of the rough ground of the everyday is one understood not only in terms of the ways in which life is open to the pain, suffering, joy, and ennui of others, but in terms of how in the entanglements and relations of lives with other lives in the everyday, lines of care and concern emerge, are fostered, and also frayed.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14318/hau2.2.004