culture ethnic affiliation
is patrilineal (ethnicity is ‘transmitted’ by the father). In the case
of families where the father was a Tutsi, only the Hutu mother
could hope to survive. Some women in this situation killed their
own children, the latter now considered as ‘children of the enemy’.
Conversely, many Hutu husbands were forced to kill their Tutsi
wives by the militias in order to save their children. Nicknamed
‘Hutsi’, the latter have subsequently been torn by their dual
status as the children of killers and the children of victims of the
genocide.16 In some
affinity between melancholia, preserving the dead and belief
in an absolute end, on the other. Each of these distinctions breaks
down in any attempt to use them as the basis for a typology of types
of societies. Cremation and preservation, for example, are often
practised simultaneously in many societies. But as radical orientations and affinities, they are nonetheless a useful point of departure.
Before moving to particular cases drawn from my own ethnographic work, let me begin with an unfashionable comparison of
culture regions, and acknowledge the rough historical
to carry much
more meaning than their speakers at first seem to attribute.
The specifically ethical issues raised by research on the fate of
the victims of mass violence could also be articulated, although all
the professionals involved in this research are in direct contact with
human remains. For if handling such remains within cultural and
research institutions is now largely framed by laws or administrative procedures in most Western countries, large-scale exhumations
are still conducted that generate a set of unprecedented practices
8 Élisabeth Anstett and
–1940. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University
Bigsby, C.W.E. (1972) Dada and Surrealism: The Critical Idiom. London: Methuen.
Birchall, Clare (2011) ‘Introduction to “secrecy and transparency”: the politics of opacity
and openness’, Theory, Culture & Society, 28: 7–8, 7–25.
Bradley, Fiona (1997) Surrealism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brinkhuis, Alfons E. (1984) De fatale aanval, 22 februari 1944: de waarheid over de mysterieuze Amerikaanse bombardementen op Nijmegen, Arnhem, Enschede en Deventer.
Weesp: Gooise Uitgeverij.
Buck-Morss, Susan (1989
Integrative concepts for a criminology of mass violence
coincidence of the moral neutralization techniques of
delinquents with the reasoning of juvenile justice actors and the
content of substantive legal defences – to posit cultures of denial:
routinized and immersive habits of moral non-engagement with
the suffering of often distant (non-western) peoples and nations.
Second, Cohen refined the modes of bystander denial to
three basic types and gave instances of transitions between them
in contexts of mass violence: literal denial (‘it could not have
happened’); interpretative denial (euphemistic relabelling of
Contested narratives of the independence struggle in postconfl ict Timor-Leste
between dead and living is thus not as categorical as
in Western thought, and the dead are seen to have a very real degree
of agency from beyond the grave. Hierarchies also exist among the
dead with some ancestral spirits being more powerful than others, a
potency that the living may tap into.
Aside from looming large in the historical narratives of liberation and the official commemoration politics, the fallen heroes
of the resistance, both against the Portuguese colonisers and the
Indonesian occupation, are both politically and spiritually ‘potent
dead’, to borrow a
Challenges and technological solutions to the identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context
Gillian Fowler and Tim Thompson
reasons for identification may also
exist. One of the consequences of the use of mass graves can be
to further cause insult by effectively excluding the victims from
their communities of death.4 Thus the primary factor governing
the search and identification of victims of the armed conflict in
Guatemala is to bury their loved ones in cemeteries reflecting the
funerary practices of the indigenous culture, a religious blend of
Catholic and Mayan rituals.
The second key issue to be addressed is how these identifications
are to be achieved. Technological solutions have in
spirit possession was no longer an
acceptable means of identifying and settling the dead, but a deliberate obfuscation of the ‘truth’ about the dead; a way as Eppel put
it of ‘silencing the bones’.29 In response the FHT complained that
Tsvangirai’s criticism of the exhumations was not ‘in defence of
African culture’ and that he was ‘talking cheap politics’.30 Nevertheless
the uncertain nature of the human materials being exhumed had
changed the focus of the controversies, from the crude politicisation and ‘disrespectful’ nature of FHT practices, to much more sensitive
Mass violence, corpses, and the Nazi imagination of the East
imagination and fantasy interacted with state
ideology, to expose ‘people’s tendency to think outside, against,
underneath, and above it’. Such efforts do not attempt to discount
or minimize the role of ideology in mass violence, but rather
underscore that ideology is a part of culture and therefore remains
linked with a longer continuity of mentalities which feed into it,
justify it, and form its foundation.4
This argument works well for the subject of the German vision
of the East. As Vejas Liulevicius has noted, a longer trajectory of
German thought vis-à-vis Eastern
Borders, ticking clocks and timelessness among temporary labour migrants in Israel
Robin A. Harper and Hani Zubida
-imposed. The state may impose time constraints on
migrants for access to society, restricting entry, exit and practices in daily life. The
state may place similar constraints only on subjects who have circumscribed rights,
such as prisoners and those in quarantine. However, unlike prisoners and those in
quarantine, only migrants request (or escape from) this time subjugation at will.
But even if time is different for TLM, which factors affect perceptions of time: timedelimited visas? Local time culture? Different seasons? Experiencing nostalgia and
homesickness? Being far