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Open Access (free)
Why exhume? Why identify?
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

for bodies; the political, social, and diplomatic dimensions of which are immediately manifest. These forensic pathologists and anthropologists now see their legitimacy buttressed by the increasing effectiveness of their work and the use of advanced technologies such as geolocation and DNA identification. This forensic turn is largely globalized, facilitated by the movement of professionals throughout the world, bringing their expertise – and their equipment – to the four corners of the globe and sometimes participating in the training of local teams.10 An account

in Human remains and identification
Joost Fontein

a long-established pattern of using a narrow and exclusivist legacy of the liberation struggle to buttress its own legitimacy. This includes undermining that of opposition parties, including ‘old’ (and ‘new’) ZAPU, the fractious factions of the MDC with whom it was then sharing a ‘unity government’, and, more recently, a host of emergent Ndebele pressure groups such as the Mwthazi Liberation Front (MLF), a radical group agitating for secession for Matabeleland. It is not surprising therefore that the crude politicking at Chibondo provoked the anger of those linked

in Governing the dead
Contested narratives of the independence struggle in postconfl ict Timor-Leste
Henri Myrttinen

been established at Metinaro, a few kilometres east of the main army base of the country. This ‘heroes’ cemetery’ is to become the centralised final resting place of dead Falintil, whose remains have been brought there from across the country (for a discussion of official memorials in Timor-Leste, see for example Leach 2008). The proximity of the cemetery to the main army base is no coincidence, for the new armed forces (F-FDTL – Falintil-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste) explicitly draw their legitimacy from the narrative of the struggle, including the deaths of the

in Governing the dead
The status of bodies in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide
Anne Yvonne Guillou

invasion of Cambodia by Vietnam was HRMV.indb 151 01/09/2014 17:28:41 152  Anne Yvonne Guillou condemned by the west and by communist China (Democratic Kampuchea’s principal backer), which persisted in recognizing only the coalition government in exile, of which the Khmer Rouge formed a part.15 Within the country, too, Cambodians were unsure about what to make of this foreign military presence and this regime that professed to be communist while proclaiming that Pol Pot had betrayed the revolution. Among the steps taken to convince people of the legitimacy of the

in Human remains and mass violence
Open Access (free)
Corpses and mass violence: an inventory of the unthinkable
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

resonant marker of identity on many levels, but also as the ultimate seat of affect, provides a solid starting point for a reading of human cultures as a coherent whole, whether as part of a literary, or biological or historical approach. The body, then, is a theme which not only runs across all the human sciences,21 but also possesses longstanding legitimacy and has recently seen an upsurge in interest in light of technological developments and the emergence of the concept of biopower.22 Yet, while the body, when alive, is considered from almost every possible

in Human remains and mass violence
Open Access (free)
Mass violence, corpses, and the Nazi imagination of the East
Michael McConnell

dead were an expression of disorder, and the growing tempo of the air war against the Reich posed serious challenges to the Nazi regime’s legitimacy. As Monica Black has noted, the charred and mutilated bodies found in the streets of German cities after bombing raids were ‘matter out of place’, which threatened to undermine notions of social and cultural order. The regime struggled to cope with the challenges posed by the treatment of these corpses, and even the efforts to generate support for mass burials met considerable civilian resistance.31 As Mary Douglas

in Destruction and human remains
Struggles for power over a festival soundscape
Lorenzo Ferrarini

steps in front, where the music continues with fast tarantella dances that involve both men and women. This episode, as Scaldaferri and I witnessed it during the festival of the Madonna del Pollino, was a particularly conflictual expression of tensions that can be identified in a number of religious situations with a mass participation, in Basilicata and beyond. The tensions are in large part over the legitimacy of certain forms of devotion, and specifically those that are expressed as sound. These are what we call sonic devotion : the production and listening

in Sonic ethnography
John Borneman

– between 23 and 26 million deaths from the Civil War of 1914–23; another 10 million in the next decade from Stalinist collectivisation, purges and famine; another 26 million deaths from the Great Patriotic War, 1939–45. Lacking a supportive landscape of memory, a public to feed back to the individual the legitimacy of his or her mourning, most people actively collaborated in this suppression to sustain the illusion of the non-existence of the dead. As Katherine Merridale writes, ‘Widows or children of purge victims might well be obliged to denounce their disgraced

in Governing the dead
Towards atypology of the treatment of corpses of ‘disappeared detainees’ in Argentinafrom 1975 to 1983
Mario Ranalletti

some perpetrators had doubts about the legitimacy or the meaning of the heinous acts they were committing, advice was sought from members of the Catholic Church. The response was forceful and unanimous: they were ‘soldiers of Christ’, fighting for the kingdom of God, and anything was permissible and would be forgiven if they were to beat the subversion.80 Studying this guidance allows some answers to be put forward to the question of how a human being becomes a perpetrator of mass murder. In the case studied here, it has been of interest to determine the nature of

in Destruction and human remains