Death of the Enemy: The Spectacularity of War and a Zombie Enemy

Abstract

The constructedness of the notion of ‘enemy’ specially during war times often includes demonization and propagandist characterization bordering on depicting inhumanity in ‘them’. But in this paper, the move is from a human enemy to a nonhuman one - a zombie. Keeping in mind its nonhuman characteristics and inhumanity, the argument is carried on to how the ideological constructedness, the creation and destruction of the enemy is handled in the two South Korean Netflix drama series ‘Kingdom’ and ‘Kingdom 2’. Further this paper attempts to study the event called ‘death’ as a posthumanising event. The ‘creation’ of the zombies who were meant to play the role of experimental ‘subjects’ to kill human-enemies, in turn became enemies threatening the survival of the very humans who created them. The main question is how the putting to death of the zombies, which was meant to redeem the ‘human’ in them from ‘death’, in fact itself becomes a moment when the non-/in-human asserts its precedence over the human. Finally, the concepts of ‘enemy’, ‘death’, ‘human’ and ‘posthuman’ are questioned in relation to each other to understand the ideology necessitated by wars. The above discussion is extrapolated to the historical situation of war in the Joseon dynasty during the reign of King Seonjo in the years between 1575-1592 A.D. The spectacularity of both – the human-deaths and the zombie-deaths – will be read as a tool to induce fear, suspicion and hatred for the ‘enemy’ among participating soldiers.



Author Information
Rimpa Mondal, Panjab University, India

Paper Information
Conference: BAMC2020
Stream: Cultural Studies

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