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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
Open Access (free)
Jenny Edkins

opposites: one is haunted by the other.10 But the impossibility of presence, and the insistence that all we ever have are traces: these ideas cannot be countenanced by relatives of the disappeared. On the contrary, the cry is: ‘They took them away alive, we want them back alive.’ In this context, the idea, put forward in my book Missing: Persons and Politics, that, in the sense that we can never fully ‘know’ each other or ourselves, we are all ‘missing persons’, is worse than irrelevant.11 With the slightly altered question I have identified in mind, the chapter begins by

in Change and the politics of certainty
Open Access (free)
Jenny Edkins

a view that would be taken easily by Walsh’s Girl, or the survivors of Grenfell, or the relatives of the disappeared discussed in Chapter 7, or indeed anyone not in charge of their own fate in the first place. It is a particularly raced, classed and gendered position, and the tragic hero seems to be generally a male figure. In his book Conscripts of Modernity, Scott contrasts the romance of anticolonial struggles with what he argues is the tragedy more appropriate to the analysis of the postcolonial world. For him, tragedy questions a teleological view that sees

in Change and the politics of certainty
Open Access (free)
Jenny Edkins

PRINT.indd 149 22/02/2019 08:35 150 change and the politics of certainty the remains of her husband, disappeared during the 1970s, dreams of the possibility that the telescopes, now focused on the stars, could instead be turned downwards to scan the desert for traces of human remains. It was not only the pathos of that dream, and its impossibility, that I found moving, but her apologetic yet barely concealed anger at the injustice of the fortune spent on cosmological research while the needs of relatives of the disappeared were disregarded. In this chapter I

in Change and the politics of certainty