Jessica Auchter

The after-effects of mass atrocity – bodies and bones – struggle to be defined within memorial projects. This article seeks to examine the politics at play in displaying dead bodies to interrogate the role of materiality in efforts to memorialise and raise awareness about on-going violences. It focusses on the nexus between evidence, dignity, humanity and memory to explore bone display in Rwanda. It then takes up two artistic projects that play on the materiality of human remains after atrocity: the art of Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who took ashes from an urn at the Majdanek concentration camp and used them as the material for his painting, and the One Million Bones Project, an installation that exhibits ceramic bones to raise awareness about global violence. In thinking about the intersections between human biomatter, art and politics, the article seeks to raise questions about both production and consumption: how bones and ashes of the dead are produced, and how they are consumed by viewers when placed on display in a variety of ways.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
The status of bodies in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide
Anne Yvonne Guillou

7 From bones-as-evidence to tutelary spirits: the status of bodies in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide Anne Yvonne Guillou Introduction ‘What is a body?’ The question asked by Stéphane Breton is one that haunts those anthropologists who have to deal with any aspect of the materiality of flesh and of its corruption.1 On the one hand there is its materiality, through which the marks of mass violence such as that of the Khmer Rouge genocide can be read,2 while on the other there is its corruption, the slow process accompanying the change in the religious

in Human remains and mass violence
The victims' struggle for recognition and recurring genocide memories in Namibia
Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha

197 8 The return of Herero and Nama bones from Germany: the victims’ struggle for recognition and recurring genocide memories in Namibia Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha Introduction In April 1904, General Adrian Dietrich Lothar von Trotha delivered his infamous order to exterminate the Herero and Nama people.1 The ‘Vernichtungsbefehl’, or extermination order, signifies Imperial Germany’s military response to the Herero and Nama popular revolts against Germany’s confiscation and domination of indigenous land. Close to 100,000 Herero and 20,000 Nama, mainly women and

in Human remains in society
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
Rémi Korman

Representations of Rwanda have been shaped by the display of bodies and bones at Tutsi genocide memorial sites. This phenomenon is most often only studied from the perspective of moral dimensions. This article aims in contrast to cover the issues related to the treatment of human remains in Rwanda for commemorative purposes from a historical perspective. To this end, it is based on the archives of the commissions in charge of genocide memory in Rwanda, as well as interviews with key memorial actors. This study shows the evolution of memorial practices since 1994 and the hypermateriality of bodies in their use as symbols, as well as their demobilisation for the purposes of reconciliation policies.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Burials, body parts and bones in the earlier Upper Palaeolithic
Erik Trinkaus, Sandra Sázelová and Jiří Svoboda

The rich earlier Mid Upper Palaeolithic (Pavlovian) sites of Dolní Vĕstonice I and II and Pavlov I (∼32,000–∼30,000 cal BP) in southern Moravia (Czech Republic) have yielded a series of human burials, isolated pairs of extremities and isolated bones and teeth. The burials occurred within and adjacent to the remains of structures (‘huts’), among domestic debris. Two of them were adjacent to mammoth bone dumps, but none of them was directly associated with areas of apparent discard (or garbage). The isolated pairs and bones/teeth were haphazardly scattered through the occupation areas, many of them mixed with the small to medium-sized faunal remains, from which many were identified post-excavation. It is therefore difficult to establish a pattern of disposal of the human remains with respect to the abundant evidence for site structure at these Upper Palaeolithic sites. At the same time, each form of human preservation raises questions about the differential mortuary behaviours, and hence social dynamics, of these foraging populations and how we interpret them through an archaeological lens.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
The manifold materialities of human remains
Claudia Fonseca and Rodrigo Grazinoli Garrido

In this article we explore the relational materiality of fragments of human cadavers used to produce DNA profiles of the unidentified dead at a forensic genetics police laboratory in Rio de Janeiro. Our point of departure is an apparently simple problem: how to discard already tested materials in order to open up physical space for incoming tissue samples. However, during our study we found that transforming human tissues and bone fragments into disposable trash requires a tremendous institutional investment of energy, involving negotiations with public health authorities, criminal courts and public burial grounds. The dilemma confronted by the forensic genetic lab suggests not only how some fragments are endowed with more personhood than others, but also how the very distinction between human remains and trash depends on a patchwork of multiple logics that does not necessarily perform according to well-established or predictable scripts.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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

ultrasound. You can hold the handheld ultrasound and you can diagnose an awful lot of things with that. Obviously, you can look inside body cavities to see if people are bleeding, and even run them over bones to see if they are fractured. TRM: Since when have they been around? TR: In common practice in the last ten years. But the more portable ones were coming in the mid-1990s, but you still had to wheel them in. Then they got lighter after that, and now the technology is very good, to the extent that

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Rumours of bones and the remembrance of an exterminated people in Newfoundland - the emotive immateriality of human remains
John Harries

220 9 A Beothuk skeleton (not) in a glass case: rumours of bones and the remembrance of an exterminated people in Newfoundland –​the emotive immateriality of human remains John Harries This chapter is about human remains and how human remains inhabit the public sphere after their exhumation. It is also, however, about a curious form of inhabitation. Usually, when we think of things being in the public sphere, we think of them as being somehow present. In the case of bones we think of them being actually, materially, physically, there. Perhaps they are on

in Human remains in society