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Claudia Merli
Trudi Buck

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
Nicholas Thomas

forcefully. We need to engage not only local perspectives but their diversity; we need to ask ‘What else is there?’ and confront uncomfortable issues about identity politics and postcolonial nations. And we cannot stop investigating Europe’s difficult histories, and the difficult histories of collections and museums – that, however, have become fertile and revelatory in ways their makers never anticipated. 27 28 Europe Note 1 This comment was written in November 2009, one of several invited opinion pieces commissioned by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Stephen Nash at

in Curatopia
Post-connoisseurial dystopia and the profusion of things
Sharon Macdonald
Jennie Morgan

often, this is articulated in terms of different ‘communities’, that members will ‘have their own stories’ that they would want to see in the museum or collected for the future. The social history movement, which, as we have noted, was important in propelling the growth of contemporary everyday collecting, argued that museums and 37 38 Europe collections needed to rectify previous failures to represent the everyday life of the majority of the population, especially the working class and women. The remit was further expanded with the influence of identity politics

in Curatopia