Get access

A KIDNAPPING IN BASRA: The Struggles and Precariousness of Life in Postinvasion Iraq



In this article, I turn to the kidnapping of my friend Jabar, which took place in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in 2009, to convey the uncertainty of daily struggles and the everyday work undertaken by Iraqis to maintain their own lives and those of family members and loved ones amid the violence after the invasion of 2003. By relating everyday modes of struggle to a specific constellation of experiences surrounding Jabar's kidnapping, I put to use an anthropology of events and notions of “precariousness” to make prominent how the work to keep Jabar alive cannot be located in the efforts and struggles of one person alone but is distributed across persons whose lives, efforts, and struggles are enmeshed and entwined with his.

Get access to the full text of this article