Elyse Semerdjian

This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Anouche Kunth

Braving the Ottoman‘s ban on capturing any images of the persecuted Armenians, witnesses dodged censorship and photographed pictures that would later be branded as proofat the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–20. Despite the challenge of these images to representations of the Armenian genocide, they were soon forgotten after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne erased the Armenian Question, while time took care of destroying the corpses abandoned in the desert. This article will examine the image-disappearance dialectic through distinct temporalities of remembrance,and commemoration, each of which mobilises its own specific, iconographical semantics. In response to contemporary challenges, the repertoire of images has not remained sealed; over the last decade it has been reopened through depictions of bare landscapes and stretches of desert and bones,that suddenly pierce through the earth. The article will show how these images implicitly speak of the disappearance and seek meaning through emptiness.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
Valérie Gorin

Assyrian and Armenian populations in the Ottoman Empire. Many worked in collaboration with faith-based charity groups, such as the British and American Quakers ( Muckle, 1990 ). The coordinated response in Europe in the 1920s increased ‘the institutionalization and professionalization of humanitarian practice, including business-like fundraising, purchasing, and accounting procedures’ and was shaped through mediatized operations that included ‘the systematic use of photographs and motion pictures’ ( Götz et al. , 2020 : 46). The ICRC films have received substantial

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Planned Obsolescence of Medical Humanitarian Missions: An Interview with Tony Redmond, Professor and Practitioner of International Emergency Medicine and Co-founder of HCRI and UK-Med

Introduction As an academic and practitioner for more than forty years, we asked Tony for his take on innovation from a personal perspective and how this might have changed throughout his career. Tony has worked with medical emergency teams in a range of disasters and conflicts including earthquakes in Armenia (1988), Iran (1990), China (2008) and Haiti (2010), conflicts in Bosnia (1991–96), Kosovo (1999–2000), Sierra Leone (2000) and Gaza (2014

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Jeffrey Flynn

Photography that could easily appear in a volume on ‘human rights photography’: the two chapters on the campaign against atrocities in the Congo (by Twomey and by Kevin Grant), one on the Armenian genocide (by Peter Balakian), and one on how Holocaust memory affected the Western reception of photos of suffering from Biafra (by Heerten). Of course, to avoid violating Twomey’s point about respecting earlier interpretive languages, such a volume on human rights photography would

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Lewis Hine’s Photographs of Refugees for the American Red Cross, 1918–20
Sonya de Laat

; Jenkinson, 2016 , 2018 ). Meanwhile on the Eastern Front, at one point, one-third of the Serbian population was on the move along with hundreds of thousands of Italian and Greek refugees in the Mediterranean and Balkans. Farther north, equally great numbers of Jewish, Armenian, and Turkish refugees traveled along the Eastern European border with Russia ( Cabanes, 2014 ). Many of Europe’s refugees had become stateless through having been expelled by conquering armies, and as documentation linking people to countries was not common ( Cabanes, 2014 ; Ngai, 2004 ). By the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Disposal and concealment in genocide and mass violence

Destruction and human remains investigates a crucial question frequently neglected from academic debate in the fields of mass violence and Genocide Studies: what is done to the bodies of the victims after they are killed? Indeed, in the context of mass violence and genocide, death does not constitute the end of the executors' work. Following the abuses carried out by the latter, their victims' remains are treated and manipulated in very particular ways, amounting in some cases to social engineering. The book explores this phase of destruction, whether by disposal, concealment or complete annihilation of the body, across a range of extreme situations to display the intentions and socio-political framework of governments, perpetrators and bystanders. The book will be split into three sections; 1) Who were the perpetrators and why were they chosen? It will be explored whether a division of labour created social hierarchies or criminal careers, or whether in some cases this division existed at all. 2) How did the perpetrators kill and dispose of the bodies? What techniques and technologies were employed, and how does this differ between contrasting and evolving circumstances? 3) Why did the perpetrators implement such methods and what does this say about their motivations and ideologies? The book will focus in particular on the twentieth century, displaying innovative and interdisciplinary approaches and dealing with case studies from different geographical areas across the globe. The focus will be placed on a re-evaluation of the motivations, the ideological frameworks and the technical processes displayed in the destruction of bodies.

Open Access (free)
Or how to make the Armenian corpses disappear
Raymond H. Kévorkian

4 Earth, fire, water: or how to make the Armenian corpses disappear 1 Raymond H. Kévorkian In the planning of mass violence, the logistical aspects of the elimination of the corpses of victims have almost as important a place as the executions themselves. The mass violence committed by the Young Turk regime against the Ottoman Armenian population has sometimes hinted at improvisation, but works published in recent years have shown that the destruction of Armenians (and Syrians) had been organized with far more care than one might have imagined, including the

in Destruction and human remains
Weak empire to weak nation-state around Nagorno-Karabakh
Jan Koehler and Christoph Zürcher

exchange of population has proven to be a formidable challenge to weak post-Soviet statehood. What is it all about? Usually, when writing about a conflict, the first thing to do would be to introduce the object of and parties to the conflict and to offer a bracket around time and place. In the case of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict these parameters themselves are strongly disputed. According to the position of the Azerbaijani government, part of its territory is occupied by the neighbouring state of Armenia and the conflict is therefore a problem between two sovereign states

in Potentials of disorder
Stuart Kaufman

modern. While Serbian mythology dates Serbs’ hostility to Muslims to the 1389 Battle of Kosovo Field, for example, there was little popular ethnic tension before the myths of Kosovo were resurrected in the nineteenth century by Serbian propagandists, many working for the newly independent Serbian state.14 And Serbs’ hostility to Croats is based primarily on the symbolism of Croats as Ustashe fascists, which dates only to World War II and to postwar mythologising. Similarly, while Armenian mythology traces the roots of the nation to ancient times, and singles out Turks

in Limiting institutions?