Introduction: The Intersection of War and Performance
The introduction establishes the long historical relation between performance and war and articulates the ways in which performance operates as both a mode and an object of analysis. After offering historical background on the Persian Gulf War in Iraq (1991), the chapter describes the 2003 Iraq War and the subsequent conflict with the so-called Islamic State or Daesh. These conflicts in Iraq involve conventional weapons and well-rehearsed public performances; political theatricality is both a tool for war and an aesthetic approach to resistance. The final section of this chapter introduces subsequent chapters, which are organized by performance genre and includes protest performance, adaptations of Greek tragedies, theater of the real, satirical news programs, and post-apocalyptic narratives in popular culture.