The constant presence of various forms and makes of firearm has turned it into an everyday item among some Lebanese. For Hezbollah militants, the AK-47 is an object of humour and fun despite its lethal potential. The weapon is saturated with representative qualities – both material and semiotic, so the author explores its materiality as a crucial nodal point from which to sketch the difficult terrain of subject–object relationship in the life of Lebanese Shi’i Hezbollah militants. He seeks to identify the material culture of a weapon that consolidates myths, reifies identities, stages propaganda and advertises threats. With this in view, the author follows the AK-47 to explore its ‘enchanting’ qualities and speak of the relationship it forms with a militant’s body. He locates the body of militants between three questions: what does the AK-47 signify, how does it arrive at that signification, and finally, how have its materiality and dynamic physicality made it the weapon of choice?.
- material semiosis