En Route to the Ahlul Bayt: Shia Narrative and Symbolism Through Pilgrimage, Imagery, and Politics

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This thesis analyzes major components and stories from the Shia narrative while connecting tropes and themes from this heritage back to forms of modern day expression of identity. In particular, these forms explored are: visual imagery, pilgrimage and shrine visitation, and politics. Furthermore, this thesis connects the dots between the expression of identity and the interconnectedness between Shia spaces, images, and political ideology. This thesis focuses particularly on the regions of Lebanon and Iraq. The body of work includes a written component on background and relevant analyses. Furthermore, the thesis includes a photographic series taken by me from my own visits to Iraq and Lebanon, to fully exemplify the topic through a personal and visual lens. The photo series includes descriptive and analytical captions that aim to give context and connect back to the elements addressed in the written segment of this thesis.

Shiism, Iconography, Shia, Narrative, History, Imagery, Pilgrimage, Iraq, Lebanon, Political Shiism, Religion, Culture, Identity, Art, Visual Arts