Accounts of suicide are often framed through a narrative of prevention, by researchers and the public alike. Such (re)presentations of suicide are illustrative of an unquestioned understanding that suicide must be prevented, while the grounds, consequences, and effects of such framing remain uninterrogated. In the prevention narrative, life is the natural and normal state against which death is chosen, yet, simultaneously death is constituted as a non-choice in that it is a choice against the natural. In its collective repetition, life is constituted as a natural characteristic of bodies, which means that it is read and lived as a state that all people are by nature individually orientated towards. As such, prevention is effectively instated as the only possible response to suicide. In this article, I propose a reading of suicide through somatechnics to enquire into some of the ways in which the prevention narrative governs what we know about suicide and how it is lived. In doing so, I aim to destabilise the logic of life to explore how certain bodies and ways of knowing are rendered (un)intelligible.
- suicide prevention