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.
Condrau , F.
Worboys , M.
( 2010 ) Tuberculosis Then and Now/ Perspectives on the History of an Infectious Disease . Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press .
Craig , S.
Adams , V.
( 2008 ) ‘ Global pharma in the land of snows. Tibetan medicines, SARS, and identitypolitics across nations ’, Asian Medicine
4 ( 1 ), 1
Tracing relatedness and diversity in the Albanian–Montenegrin borderland
12 The equivalent emic expression is rodjak (or the diminutive rodjo).
13 The extermination of converts by Prince Danilo, which is the central theme of Njegoš’s
epic poem, lacks historical validity (Djilas 1966). Conversion to Islam was contested,
but remains an integral part of Montenegro’s history.
15 See below for reflections on the gender dimensions of this process.
16 The introduction of the Bajraktar title can also be seen as
IdentityPolitics and Ethical Worlds in South
India . Delhi : Oxford University Press .
Derrida , J . 1976 . Of
Grammatology . Baltimore,
MD : Johns Hopkins University
Derrida , J . 1995 . Archive Fever: A
Freudian Impression . Chicago, IL : University of Chicago
the zigzag or hither and thither back into discourse might produce a different border culture but the negotiation of getting in remained tied to identitypolitics. Somewhere in this ‘fluid situation’ the outsider, the newcomer, the migrant, or those antlike files of refugees imagined by Canetti had to identify themselves: crossroads might be chiasmatic but approaching them from any direction led to a crossing-point. There was no way round the question, What is your name? Or was there? It was a feature of the living arrangements or meeting places conjured up in the
the diplomacy of strangeness depends on finding a convincing throughline. Certainly, from this perspective I was ill-prepared for immigration. An attraction to playing all the parts, finding satisfaction in suspending village identitypolitics in favour of masquerade – imagining the voice, the history, the outreach I would, as a schoolboy, like to have – was rendered less playful, more existential you might say, by the ban on story in our household. ‘4. Boys of Down Ampney, Ogbourne, Bishopstone, Filkins, Southrop, Longcot and Thrupp. 1. Who in another time were. 3
local historical associations, the immediate identitypolitics of different communities and the spurious differentiations of site based on minor geological or ecological variations, they cultivate certain seeds which are suitable or fitting because they are ready to undergo gradual additions or articulations or changes of place.
The involution of experience described here involves feedback