Living death

imagined history and the Tarrant Manifesto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper analyses the manifesto of terrorist Brenton Tarrant, the perpetrator of the 2019 Christchurch Mosque shootings. Reading Tarrant’s manifesto (The Great Replacement) as a cultural artefact of digital white nationalism, it is possible to identify a specific worldview that is also shared with the actions and writing of Anders Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Oslo and Utøya massacre. After examining both terrorists’ manifestos, their biographical particulars and drawing from ethnographic research of the online communities that Tarrant frequented, a shared phenomenological framework emerges. This framework is presented as ‘the imagined past and present’ of the Replacement Theory terrorist. This paper will address these white nationalist imaginings via a cultural exegesis of Tarrant’s and Breivik’s manifestos, as well as an analysis of their comparable monastic aesthetic or ‘living death’ in the lead up to their attacks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalEmotions: History, Culture, Society
Publication statusSubmitted - 15 Jan 2021

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