chapter  4
31 Pages

Subjects of victory and defeat

If victory and defeat are not objective states which can be identified but, rather, are evident in the configuration of post-conflict discourse (where some narratives become speakable and others unspeakable), what kind of subjects are produced by victorious and defeated experiences of conflict? How are the intersections between violence and politics evident in the remaking of subjects who undertook armed struggle? This chapter looks at the ways ex-militants talked about themselves and how they have changed as people. It asks how post-conflict politics has produced, and produces, subjects and how ex-militants reflected on their subjectivities. This is interesting because only one EOKA fighter made note of changes in himself and how he finds it hard to account for who he was in that past, while conversely only two anni di piombo militants did not make note of shifts in their identities. The resetting of the hermeneutical horizon during conflict compels those who fought losing battles to explain their reasons for doing so, but it allows victorious militants to claim stable subjectivities across the preconflict and post-conflict eras.