Sana Chavoshian – Age and Generation

Soldiers and Sanctions: Generational Justice across and along Debris, Disaster and Displacement

Dr. Sana Chavoshian

The events surrounding the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) are barely studied in relation to the constitution of Iran’s post-war politics, even more than that though with respect to the decisive effects on the social reconstruction of the borderland fields. The overall ignorance toward the former warzones and the evacuation of Southwestern borderlands from the youth is reversed within the past decade due to the international economic sanctions. In search of strategies to circumvent the sanctions, religious institutions have taken lead in regional state-sponsored and secure private investment in infrastructures, building routs, commemoration sites, and shrines as well as facilities for the pilgrimage of the historical sacred sites in Iraq as a late life desire of many families. With this project, I examine the impacts of sedimentations of conflicts and war on the one hand and on the other, the effect of new waves of construction projects in the late stage of life of those inhabiting in these borderlands. My project starts with the question, “can Iran relegate elderly care to the religious institutions”. How the former warzones have turned to an elderscape of competition over entitlement, sustenance and crucial experiences of survival?

Taking the strong association between complicity, affliction and turbulence among the war veterans, and the demand for social justice by the locals, this study investigates the dynamics of sacralizing/profanizing elderly care and readjusting intergenerational norms and expectations. The research project is thus located at the intersection of the study of care, religion and aspirational politics and addresses the intergenerational relations in the context of regional wars and the post-war dystopias through the lens of state institutional arrangements and the trans-local professional networks.

Applying a translocal perspective, the study highlights the contrasted environment of care not only in direct contact with the debris of war and the geography of a border-zone, but also in a broader movement of ideas and practices of living through the sanctions.

Photos from fieldwork