This essay analyzes the ways in which official memory discourses in Kuwait promote willful forgetting of certain aspects of the country’s past through acts of repressive erasure. By looking at how it has shaped narratives about the pre-oil era, the post-1950 advent of oil-fueled modernization, and the period since the 1990 Iraqi invasion and occupation, we can assess both the functions and the consequences of the Kuwaiti state’s tendencies toward erasing aspects of the past. The essay also provides examples of how Kuwaiti artists and writers have challenged these official histories.

You do not currently have access to this content.