Resistant ecologies:The life of war in South Lebanon

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Sociology, Egyptology & Anthropology Department

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Munria Khayyat

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Research Article

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American Ethnologist

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In South Lebanon, war is lived as landscape, environment, milieu. Those pursuing life in such quarters do what they can to make-live, and their lifelines are often as vitalizing as they are deadly: tobacco farmers ally themselves with what they call a “bitter crop” that flourishes in an arid war zone, while pastoralists walk in explosive fields with their mine-evading goats. These multispecies alliances flourish because they can survive the deadly infrastructures of war. Dwelling alongside two steadfast families in the borderlands of South Lebanon, this ethnography of life in war moves away from tropes of trauma to grasp a militarized world from within the lived terrain of its operations. Neither green-tinged utopia nor total devastation, these resistant ecologies make being possible in an insistently deadly region. Thinking life from disastrous war zones forces anthropological theory to reckon with harsh ethnographic realities while bringing to light unsung alliances of hope for life ongoing.

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