Open Access (free)
Burying the victims of Europe’s border in a Tunisian coastal town

The Mediterranean Sea has recently become the deadliest of borders for illegalised travellers. The victims of the European Union’s liquid border are also found near North African shores. The question of how and where to bury these unknown persons has recently come to the fore in Zarzis, a coastal town in south-east Tunisia. Everyone involved in these burials – the coastguards, doctors, Red Crescent volunteers, municipality employees – agree that what they are doing is ‘wrong’. It is neither dignified nor respectful to the dead, as the land used as a cemetery is an old waste dump, and customary attitudes towards the dead are difficult to realise. This article will first trace how this situation developed, despite the psychological discomfort of all those affected. It will then explore how the work of care and dignity emerges within this institutional chain, and what this may tell us about what constitutes the concept of the human.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Curation and exhibition in the aftermath of genocide and mass-violence

This book addresses the practices, treatment and commemoration of victims’ remains in post- genocide and mass violence contexts. Whether reburied, concealed, stored, abandoned or publically displayed, human remains raise a vast number of questions regarding their legal, ethical and social uses.

Human Remains in Society will raise these issues by examining when, how and why bodies are hidden or exhibited. Using case studies from multiple continents, each chapter will interrogate their effect on human remains, either desired or unintended, on various political, cultural or religious practices. How, for instance, do issues of confiscation, concealment or the destruction of bodies and body parts in mass crime impact on transitional processes, commemoration or judicial procedures?

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)

1 Introduction. Corpses in society: about human remains, necro-​politics, necro-​economy and the legacy of mass violence Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-​Marc Dreyfus The visible presence of human remains within societies is not a new phenomenon.1 Whether these remains have been placed on view for religious reasons (through the creation of ossuaries or the use of relics, for example), for the purposes of experimental science (in particular through the use and preservation of human tissues and skeletons by the disciplines of medicine, biology and physical

in Human remains in society
Open Access (free)
The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa

invasion of the body 42 Scholars warn against seeking to explain violence through examin­ ing its causes or functions and the instrumentalization thereof. To do so may reduce violence ‘to a practical tool used by opposing social actors in pursuit of conflicting ends. Whether treated as a cause, function, or instrument, violence is generally assumed rather than examined in its concreteness.’ 43 While mindful of this warning, the concern here is not to explain violence but to explore an aspect of necropolitics,44 namely the corpse as ‘thing’ and how, even after its

in Destruction and human remains
The paradoxes of sustainability and Michel Houellebecq’s The Possibility of an Island

hypocrisy. In a somewhat similar manner, The Possibility of an Island takes the confused desire for a more natural lifestyle that animates so much of the discourse on sustainability and extrapolates from it a future which reveals the latter’s contradictory and potentially dehumanising logic. Sustainability, I conclude, is ill-suited for service as a first principle. If it is to play a role other than that of a weak anodyne for contemporary anxieties or a necropolitical calculus, it can only be that of a necessary stopgap for a problem that must remain essentially

in Literature and sustainability

stake is not only a politics of offence or ‘hurt feelings’ but questions of life and death. Black and critical race theorists such as Achille Mbembe have, in a similar vein, conceptualised death as the very heart of contemporary racism, but also as central to societal and political power more broadly, and thus also, unavoidably, resistance. In his writing on the notion of necropolitics, Mbembe suggests that instead of biopower  –​power managing bodies and life –​today we should rather talk about necropower, technologies of managing and ‘subjugating life to the power

in The power of vulnerability
Open Access (free)
The management of migration between care and control

, and Achille Mbembe’s work on necropolitics, this chapter focuses on the ambiguities and contradictions that bedevil discourses and practices around control and care of human mobility in the Mediterranean. 20 Contemporary scholarship provides important insights into the ways that migrant deaths result from bordering practices that govern through death. 21 This chapter aims to shed light on the role of ‘crisis’ narratives and

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Translatina world-making in The Salt Mines and Wildness

color] in the form of spectatorial sympathy’ (2016: 124). The films put these women’s suffering on display but refuse to consider them as historical agents or experts in anything beyond their own personal experience. These audio-​ visual media strategies are part of the broader ‘extraction of value from trans of color lives through biopolitical and necropolitics technologies’ that trans scholars C. Riley Snorton and Jin Haritaworn have described (2013: 71). The unequal distribution of economic resources and social capital have long put creative control of trans

in The power of vulnerability
Open Access (free)
The tales destruction tells

genocide, where, by disposing of corpses, the perpetrators intended not so much to conceal their crimes as to purge the new state of any ‘foreign’ material in a properly organicist sense. This analysis of what is politically at stake in the treatment of corpses could thus be expanded to the entire destruction process from a necropolitical perspective, as defined by Giorgio Agamben. DHR.indb 8 5/15/2014 12:51:03 PM Introduction  9 More than an echo of Remnants of Auschwitz 18 can thus be found in the present volume, informing for example the treatment of dying victims

in Destruction and human remains