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Vanguard of the ImamReligion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards$
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Afshon Ostovar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199387892

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387892.001.0001

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Warriors of Karbala

Warriors of Karbala

(p.121) 7 Warriors of Karbala
Vanguard of the Imam

Afshon Ostovar

Oxford University Press

Shiite Islam is central to the IRGC’s organizational identity. This chapter examines the organization’s approach to identity formation and how it expressed that identity through cultural work. Early on in its career, the IRGC placed emphasis on the production and distribution of its ideas. It published journals, books, and pamphlets, and created artwork such as political posters. Visuality was an important medium for expressions of IRGC identity. Its organizational emblem is the primary visual articulation of the IRGC’s self-conception. Posters, photographs, and other artwork were also used by the IRGC to communicate its sense of self, politics, and religious perspectives. The war was the context for the development of IRGC culture and identity in the 1980s. The experiences of war helped forge IRGC identity, the development of which can be seen in the visual imagery produced by the organization in the 1980s.

Keywords:   Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, IRGC, Shi`ism, Shiite Islam, martyrdom, religion, visual culture, modern Middle East history, modern Iranian history, Middle East cultural history

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