Open Access (free)
Jenny Edkins

124 change and the politics of certainty 7 1 Tracing disappearance Nothing … is anywhere ever simply present or absent. There are only, everywhere, differences and traces of traces. – Jacques Derrida2 Memorial practices are especially difficult in cases of disappearance. Ordinary practices of memory don’t work, and yet memory has to be continually kept alive. Families are thrown into a deep, unresolvable crisis. When someone goes missing, relatives have to hold two contradictory thoughts in mind at the same time: the person may be dead, or, they may walk

in Change and the politics of certainty
Laura Panizo

This article will investigate the process of confronting death in cases of the disappeared of the last military dictatorship in Argentina. Based on the exhumation and identification of the body of a disappeared person, the article will reflect on how the persons social situation can be reconfigured, causing structural changes within the family and other groups. This will be followed by a discussion of the reflections generated by the anthropologist during his or her interview process, as well as an investigation into the authors own experiences in the field. This intimate relationship between the anthropologist and death, through the inevitable contact that takes place among the bodies, causes resonances in the context both of exhumations and of identifications in the anthropologists wider fieldwork.

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
Patricio Galella

During the Spanish Civil War, extrajudicial executions and disappearances of political opponents took place and their corpses were buried in unregistered mass graves. The absence of an official policy by successive democratic governments aimed at the investigation of these cases, the identification and exhumation of mass graves, together with legal obstacles, have prevented the victims families from obtaining reparation, locating and recovering the human remains. This paper argues that this state of affairs is incompatible with international human rights law and Spain should actively engage in the search for the whereabouts and identification of the bodies with all the available resources.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Walter Bruyère-Ostells

Mercenaries are fighters who operate under special conditions. Their presence, as shadow combatants, often tends to exacerbate the violence of their enemies. That’s why the analysis focuses on the singularity of the relationship to death and ‘procedures’ concerning the corpses of their fallen comrades. As a fighter identified and engaged in landlocked areas, the mercenary’s corpse is treated according to material constraints pertaining in the 1960s. After violence on their body, and evolution towards the secret war, mercenaries favour the repatriation of the body or its disappearance. These new, painful conditions for comrades and families give birth to a collective memory fostered by commemorations.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
María José Sarrabayrouse Oliveira

The military coup of March 1976 in Argentina ruptured the prevailing institutional order, with the greater part of its repressive strategy built on clandestine practices and tactics (death, torture and disappearance) that sowed fear across large swathes of Argentine society. Simultaneously, the terrorist state established a parallel, de facto legal order through which it endeavoured to legitimise its actions. Among other social forces, the judicial branch played a pivotal role in this project of legitimisation. While conscious of the fact that many of those inside the justice system were also targets of oppression, I would like to argue that the dictatorship‘s approach was not to establish a new judicial authority but, rather, to build upon the existing institutional structure, remodelling it to suit its own interests and objectives. Based on an analysis of the criminal and administrative proceedings that together were known as the Case of the judicial morgue, this article aims to examine the ways in which the bodies of the detained-disappeared that entered the morgue during the dictatorship were handled, as well as the rationales and practices of the doctors and other employees who played a part in this process. Finally, it aims to reflect upon the traces left by judicial and administrative bureaucratic structures in relation to the crimes committed by the dictatorship, and on the legal strategies adopted by lawyers and the families of the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Magdalena Figueredo and Fabiana Larrobla

Between 1975 and 1979, thirty-one unidentified bodies bearing marks of torture appeared at various locations along Uruguays coastline. These bodies were material proof of the death flights implemented in neighbouring Argentina after the military coup. In Uruguay, in a general context of political crisis, the appearance of these anonymous cadavers first generated local terror and was then rapidly transformed into a traumatic event at the national level. This article focuses on the various reports established by Uruguayan police and mortuary services. It aims to show how,the administrative and funeral treatments given at that time to the dead bodies, buried anonymously (under the NN label) in local cemeteries, make visible some of the multiple complicities between the Uruguayan and Argentinean dictatorships in the broader framework of the Condor Plan. The repressive strategy implemented in Argentina through torture and forced disappearance was indeed echoed by the bureaucratic repressive strategy implemented in Uruguay through incomplete and false reports, aiming to make the NN disappear once again.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
José Luís Fiori

existence of periods of peace within the inter-state system, which nonetheless do not interrupt competition nor eradicate latent conflict between the most powerful states. The hegemon must continue expanding its power to maintain its relative position. And its accumulation of power, as with that of the other states, depends on preparation for war against real or virtual enemies, which are created by the contradictions of the system. The disappearance of competition would lead to the hegemon – and indeed other states – losing power and the system

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

speak, by the 1990s a ‘post-social’ economy was consolidating in the global North. While marked differences remain, the North and South have drawn together around the economic logic of precarity. In the latter, fuelled by jobless growth, for several decades a self-reproducing informal sector has been by far the largest employer and supplier of goods and services ( Meagher, 2016 ). For the North, precarity has taken the form of the disappearance of ‘good’ jobs as the casualisation of work has increased. This includes the growth of insecure

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

potential disappearance continue to pervade Palestinian refugees’ experiences and perceptions of UNRWA as the remaining UN agency responsible for Palestinians. UNRWA’s initial three-year mandate as a ‘relief and works’ agency supporting Palestinian refugees residing within its five areas of operation has been renewed for the past seventy years. While continuing to provide ‘works’ and ‘services’ to Palestinian refugees – including in the fields of health, social services, education, microfinance and direct cash emergency programmes – its budget

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs