a certain degree of discretion. It is especially important to avoid sharing information that could be used by fake intermediaries claiming to be in contact with the kidnappers and their captives. A minimum level of secrecy is also necessary to counteract efforts by governments opposed to any negotiations with organisations labelled as ‘terrorist’ groups. Moreover, local and international mobilisation and public advocacy campaigns do not necessarily have a positive impact on kidnapping resolution. Those publicising a hostage-taking are seeking to turn it into a

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Truth commissions are widely recognised tools used in negotiation following political repression. Their work may be underpinned by formal scientific investigation of human remains. This paper presents an analysis of the role of forensic investigations in the transition to democracy following the Brazilian military governments of 1964–85. It considers practices during the dictatorship and in the period following, making reference to analyses of truth commission work in jurisdictions other than Brazil, including those in which the investigation of clandestine burials has taken place. Attempts to conceal the fate of victims during the dictatorship, and the attempts of democratic governments to investigate them are described. Despite various initiatives since the end of the military government, many victims remain unidentified. In Brazil, as elsewhere, forensic investigations are susceptible to political and social influences, leading to a situation in which relatives struggle to obtain meaningful restitution and have little trust in the transitional justice process.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
The manifold materialities of human remains

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
Editor’s Introduction

responses. Negotiations here take on their full meaning, far beyond simplistic visions of the notion of community. While the latter is introduced as a maze of at times diverging interests, negotiations are seen as a crucial step in securing consent. These appear all the more essential at a time when the responders to the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo were confronted with multiple security incidents, including attacks on health centres and the deaths and kidnappings of health professionals

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

This article considers the contexts and processes of forensic identification in 2004 post-tsunami Thailand as examples of identity politics. The presence of international forensic teams as carriers of diverse technical expertise overlapped with bureaucratic procedures put in place by the Thai government. The negotiation of unified forensic protocols and the production of estimates of identified nationals straddle biopolitics and thanatocracy. The immense identification task testified on the one hand to an effort to bring individual bodies back to mourning families and national soils, and on the other hand to determining collective ethnic and national bodies, making sense out of an inexorable and disordered dissolution of corporeal as well as political boundaries. Individual and national identities were the subject of competing efforts to bring order to,the chaos, reaffirming the cogency of the body politic by mapping national boundaries abroad. The overwhelming forensic effort required by the exceptional circumstances also brought forward the socio-economic and ethnic disparities of the victims, whose post-mortem treatment and identification traced an indelible divide between us and them.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
James Baldwin’s American South

James Baldwin has frequently been written about in terms of his relationship to geographical locations such as Harlem, Paris, St. Paul-de-Vence, Istanbul, and “the transatlantic,” but his longstanding connection to the American South, a region that served as a vexed and ambiguous spiritual battleground for him throughout his life and career, has been little discussed, even though Baldwin referred to himself as “in all but no technical legal fact, a Southerner.” This article argues that the South has been seriously underconsidered as a major factor in Baldwin’s psyche and career and that were it not for the challenge to witness the Southern Civil Rights movement made to Baldwin in the late 1950s, he might never have left Paris and become the writer and thinker into which he developed. It closely examines Baldwin’s fictional and nonfictional engagements with the American South during two distinct periods of his career, from his first visit to the region in 1957 through the watershed year of 1963, and from 1963 through the publication of Baldwin’s retrospective memoir No Name in the Street in 1972, and it charts Baldwin’s complex and often contradictory negotiations with the construction of identity in white and black Southerners and the South’s tendency to deny and censor its historical legacy of racial violence. A few years before his death, Baldwin wrote that “[t]he spirit of the South is the spirit of America,” and this essay investigates how the essential question he asked about the region—whether it’s a bellwether for America’s moral redemption or moral decline—remains a dangerous and open one.

James Baldwin Review

This article describes the powerplay around the recent discovery (summer 2015) of eighteenth-century Jewish graves in the French city of Lyon. Prior to the French Revolution, Jews had no right to have their own cemeteries, and the corpses of the deceased were buried in the basement of the local catholic hospital, the Hôtel- Dieu. In recent years this centrally located building was completely renovated and converted into a retail complex selling luxury brands. The discovery and subsequent identification of the graves – and of some human remains – led to a complex confrontation between various actors: archaeologists, employed either by the municipality or by the state; religious authorities (mostly Lyons chief rabbi); the municipality itself; the private construction companies involved; direct descendants of some of the Jews buried in the hospital‘s basement; as well as the local media. The question of what to do with the graves took centre stage, and while exhumations were favoured by both archaeologists and the representatives of the families, the chief rabbi – supported by the construction companies – proved reluctant to exhume, for religious reasons. In the first part of his article the author details the origins of this Jewish funerary place and current knowledge about it. He then goes on to analyse what was at stake in the long negotiations, arguing that the memory of the Holocaust played a role in the attitude of many of the parties involved. By way of conclusion he considers the decision not to exhume the graves and elaborates on the reasons why this led to some dissatisfaction.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A Focus on Community Engagement

legitimate youth and local leaders over the distribution of Ebola-relief goods. In the second case, from Liberia, Almudena Mari Saez narrates negotiations between community-based organisations and the NGO in charge of opening a new Ebola Treatment Unit at the SKD 3 Stadium in Monrovia. In the final case, from Sierra Leone, Luisa Enria discusses the role of chiefs through the confrontation between the police and young Sierra Leoneans in Bamoi Luma when authorities violently imposed the closure of a market in order to avoid a resurgence of the epidemic. Despite their

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister

protagonism in multilateral negotiations. He is convinced that the country will fulfil its potential as a major global power that can influence other states with a democratic and egalitarian vision. But he also recognises challenges ahead. A framed photo of Amorim and Lula perched on the top shelf of an eclectic bookcase, both men smiling widely. The following day, Amorim would travel to the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, where he would visit Lula in prison. And he would receive news of a declaration by the UN Committee on Human Rights that the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

complete fiction either. An accurate portrait is drawn in Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed , a book published by MSF-CRASH some years ago. Its authors argued that relief groups could be thought of as ‘unreliable friends’, constantly bargaining with donors (not to mention governments and insurgent groups in the countries in which they do their work). An important problem relief agencies face today, which is almost certain to grow worse in the coming decade, is that their success in negotiations can be in vain if donors don’t have the power to make

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs