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Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Thousands of people died in Rotterdam during the Second World War in more than 300 German and Allied bombardments. Civil defence measures had been taken before the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940 and these efforts were intensified during the country’s occupation as Allied bombers attacked Rotterdam’s port, factories, dry docks and oil terminals. Residential neighbourhoods were also hit through imprecise targeting and by misfired flak grenades. Inadequate air raid shelters and people’s reluctance to enter them caused many casualties. The condition of the corpses and their post-mortem treatment was thus co-constituted by the relationship between the victims and their material circumstances. This article concludes that an understanding of the treatment of the dead after war, genocide and mass violence must pay systematic attention to the materiality of death because the condition, collection and handling of human remains is affected by the material means that impacted on the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Cambodia’s bones
Fiona Gill

The display of human remains is a controversial issue in many contemporary societies, with many museums globally removing them from display. However, their place in genocide memorials is also contested. Objections towards the display of remains are based strongly in the social sciences and humanities, predicated on assumptions made regarding the relationship between respect, identification and personhood. As remains are displayed scientifically and anonymously, it is often argued that the personhood of the remains is denied, thereby rendering the person ‘within’ the remains invisible. In this article I argue that the link between identification and personhood is, in some contexts, tenuous at best. Further, in the context of Cambodia, I suggest that such analyses ignore the ways that local communities and Cambodians choose to interact with human remains in their memorials. In such contexts, the display of the remains is central to restoring their personhood and dignity.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
1980–2000
Dominique Marshall

of information about development in Canadian schools during that period offer the historian a significant opportunity to study practical and ideological traditions of visual communications for pedagogical purposes among humanitarian agencies. The focus of historical inquiries of visual media is often on the content produced and the intended audience, with limited examination of those responsible for the logistics and pedagogical dimensions of the distribution of the materials. This article discusses the following aspects of the practices of CIDA: the purpose of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
Valérie Gorin

testimonial function of the films in humanitarian publications and promotional material and discusses the idea that ‘seeing is believing’. Following on that, the link between visual evidence and affects is addressed, as humanitarian cinema allowed contact with suffering that was more intimate. Finally, the immediacy of the cinema technology and its induced immersive spectacle is analysed, to question the perceptual experience of the films’ settings with the production of eyewitness images and first-hand accounts during the screenings. The paper concludes by highlighting the

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

political change, vulnerability becomes a direct or unmediated experience characteristic of the life-world of the person concerned. Just as important as material aid, if not more so, is fast access to sympathetic value-added information. With design having supplanted politics within the post-humanitarian canon, the discursive field is bounded by the interplay between the empathy of the onlooker or practitioner and the direct experience of the affected. 10 The aim is no longer to control or contain disasters – it’s more about improving how they

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Rainer Schlösser, Spokesperson of the Association of the Red Cross Museums in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der deutschen Rotkreuz-Museen)
Sönke Kunkel

should mention that the museum is also a collecting institution. That’s something that many people tend to overlook: as a museum, we collect, store, and archive parts of the material and written record of the Red Cross. So we also have a library which serves researchers. SK: Ah, that’s interesting. So you’re involved in a wide spectrum of activities. Still I am wondering somewhat about, let’s say, the general significance of the institution of the Red Cross museum. Isn’t there something old-fashioned and outdated about museums in this world of online communication

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Valérie Gorin and Sönke Kunkel

figure to overcome the politics of borders ( Johnson, 2011 ; Malkki, 1996 ; Rajaram, 2002 ), or the contribution of visual media to ideologies embedded in humanitarian narratives, from the human rights framework to colonialism, nationalism, and imperialism ( Briggs, 2003 ; Dogra, 2012 ; Lydon, 2016 ; Sliwinski, 2011 ). In this special issue, we build on such scholarship by inquiring into the role that specific media such as photography, film, graphic materials, or museums

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
How Can Humanitarian Analysis, Early Warning and Response Be Improved?
Aditya Sarkar, Benjamin J. Spatz, Alex de Waal, Christopher Newton, and Daniel Maxwell

several severe complex emergencies (North-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). 4 Our research from those cases 5 finds that a dominant logic of elite political behaviour is the political marketplace (PM). This applies where transactional politics (the day-to-day use of coercion/violence or material incentives among members of the elite) trumps the functioning of formal rules and institutions. Such transactional

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
Tom Scott-Smith

focusing on furniture and furnishings. Among other things, this entailed installing softer lighting, distributing simple materials to filter the harsh florescent bulbs, erecting divides to address the lack of privacy and adding splashes of colour and comfort throughout. It was, I immediately felt, an important if modest idea. The three Viennese projects were simple but effective, cheap but transformative, fast but sensitive. They had been implemented with small amounts of money

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Corporations, Celebrities and the Construction of the Entrepreneurial Refugee Woman
Annika Bergman Rosamond and Catia Gregoratti

refugee women through artisanal entrepreneurship. We then introduce Carol Bacchi’s ‘what is the problem represented to be’ (WPR) approach, pointing to its significance in identifying stereotypical representations of the refugee woman in humanitarian discourse. We also discuss our material, which is collected in digital settings. Thereafter we analyse the problem representations of the refugee woman within the two cases, the assumptions that underpin them as well as their

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs