Futures Past Nation, Gender, Time in Jawad Salim’s Monument to Freedom

Sara Pursley


Contemporary accounts of the Iraqi revolution of 14 July 1958,
from across the political-ideological spectrum, report strikingly
similar experiences of déjà vu. Many sources, both foreign
and Iraqi, confirm the recollections of a British observer that
“the Revolution, when it came, corresponded so closely to the
opinion that had formed before, that everything that happened
seemed, in its turn, to be what one had already been taught
to expect.”(1) Paradoxically, it was the familiar unfolding of the
events as a revolutionary future that many Iraqis had previously
imagined—or a “future past,” to borrow Reinhart Koselleck’s
phrase(2)—that enabled them to be so widely experienced as
an absolute temporal rupture, the end of one time and the
beginning of another.


History; Education;Cultural Studies; Humanities

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