Chapter 6 explores the healing encounters between Muslim healers, patients,
psychiatrists, and nurses as ritual practices. It analyses the aesthetic
forms applied in the healing encounters in order to facilitate the
possibility of self-sacrifice, and to move beyond the boundaries of the
immediately visible. Inspired by recent attempts to apply the film theory of
Eisenstein, Vertov, and Deleuze to the theorisation of ritual and religious
art, the chapter analyses the interaction during exorcisms and the
psychiatric treatments that are shown in the film as a ritual dialectic
moving toward dissolution by way of disruptive montage. The chapter shows
how submission to a particular form of healing is facilitated by the
healers’ ability to conjure the sense of an all-encompassing world of
knowledge and total vision to which the patients’ limited and partial
perspectives must subject themselves.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows the undeniable contribution and the limits of the biopower theory in the understanding of dead bodies en masse. It talks about the fact that criminology has for so long ignored mass crime, even though the link between the corpse and the criminal is one of the fundamentals of the discipline. The book addresses the issue of the practical and symbolic treatment of corpses by societies affected by mass violence. It shows how working ideologies along with historical legacy and geographical landscapes determined the disposal of the bodies. The book examines the simultaneously diplomatic and medicolegal nature of the activities of the French Search Commission for Corpses of Deportees in Germany. It also draws on German archives to describe the various modalities of treatment of corpses in Croatia.