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Mass graves in post-war Malaysia
Frances Tay

The violence visited upon British Malaya during the Japanese Occupation of December 1941 to August 1945 has prompted several historians to evoke comparisons with the atrocities that befell Nanjing. For the duration of three years and eight months, unknown numbers of civilians were subjected to massacres, summary executions, rape, forced labour, arbitrary detention and torture.

This chapter explores several exhumations which have taken place in the territory to interrogate the significance of exhumations in shaping communal collective war memory, a subject which has thus far eluded scholarly study. It argues that these exhumations have not been exercises in recording or recovering historical facts; rather they have obfuscated the past by augmenting popular perceptions of Chinese victimhood and resistance, to the exclusion of all other ethnic groups’ war experiences. As a result, exhumations of mass graves in Malaysia have thus far served as poor examples of forensic investigation; rather these operations highlight how exhumations can emerge as battlegrounds in the contest between war memory and historiography.

in Human remains and identification
Abstract only
Christian Suhr

wanted me to film from up there on that tripod? As Gregory Bateson put it, in a dialogue with Margaret Mead, ‘a dead camera on top of a bloody tripod … sees nothing’ (Mead and Bateson 1977 : 79). Mead insisted on the opposite argument. The recordings of a camera in the hands of a cameraman were useless, since the human selection of shots and angles obstructed the camera's objective access to pro-filmic reality. According to Mead, cameras should be placed on tripods or else their footage could at best be described as ‘art’ – useless for analytic purposes. Art, Bateson

in Descending with angels
The status of bodies in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide
Anne Yvonne Guillou

of this ‘suspended historicity’,18 human remains once again became bonesas-evidence when teams of investigators from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal began recording afresh the sites of massacres, mass graves and political prisons, this work having been started a few years earlier by the Documentation Centre of Cambodia. In parallel with this rediscovery of the country’s ossuaries by western agencies, genocide tourism began to develop around the main sites linked to Pol Pot’s regime. In Phnom Penh today, one can hear taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers mechanically reciting a

in Human remains and mass violence
An ethnography in/of computational social science
Mette My Madsen, Anders Blok and Morten Axel Pedersen

-scale interdisciplinary research programme partly funded by the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. As part of its grand ambition to develop the technical, methodological and theoretical tools needed to transform the big data revolution into ‘deep data’ research, this project has sought to make continuous recordings of social interactions on all smart-phone-based communication channels (call logs, SMS, Bluetooth, GPS geolocation etc.) among an entire freshman class (N = 800) at the Danish Technical University (DTU). At the same time, a variety of other kinds of data have been produced

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world
Missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa
Nicky Rousseau

avoid pauper burials.24 Dennie traces raced differences in the treatment of corpses: until 1942, coffins for black indigents had detachable bottoms, rendering them recyclable; coffins for white indigents were better constructed, lined with fabric, had handles, and, from the 1940s, a nameplate recording name and date of death. Even after regulations disallowed conveying black indigents on an open truck, they permitted undertakers to convey and bury four black indigents at a time, in contrast to the white indigent’s individual hearse and burial. Most injurious for black

in Human remains and identification
Christian Suhr

the mosques of Aarhus in March 2009 and has continued with several prolonged breaks until the present day. The most important part of the research, including the recording of more than 100 hours of film footage, intensive participant observation, and hundreds of conversations and interviews was carried out in collaboration with people from the mosques between April 2010 and October 2011. My reasons for moving the project from Egypt to Denmark were primarily practical. As the father of young children, it was more convenient to do long

in Descending with angels
Christian Suhr

show the doctors and the people in the mosques the real reason he became so violent. During our film recordings it seems clear Aziz is trying to use me as a kind of truth-witness to the reality of jinn and magic. Filming in this way becomes another modality of participant observation – an enquiry into social life that does not only passively observe, but actively participates as a special and complicit form of witnessing (Marcus 1998 ). After Aziz has left the office and the camera has been turned off I ask Esther what she thinks of the story of how Aziz taught his

in Descending with angels
Abstract only
The degeneration of everyday material conditions
Mona Abaza

have ever been robbed; instead, only the commercial spaces have been targeted. The newly opened Saudi labour contractor on the first floor had already installed one camera on its floor. Mr Al.’s suggestion was to install a total of eight cameras, three at the entrance hall and one on each floor. This did not seem to me to be a practical solution, considering the fact that a complete blackout reigns on some floors during the night, as light bulbs have been stolen too; nor was I sure how the twentyfour-hour video recordings would be monitored and archived. Mr Mus

in Cairo collages
Open Access (free)
Deaths at sea and unidentified bodies in Lesbos
Iosif Kovras and Simon Robins

interviews. We are indebted to Katerina Polychroni for her invaluable support.  7 Indicative of the arbitrary and uncoordinated procedure for recording migrant burials is the fact that at different periods there have been different approaches to keeping track of migrant graves. When shipwrecks were less frequent, the information on the grave included the nationality and the number of the victim of the specific shipwreck (e.g. ‘Afghan 2’), often on a marble cross taken from a recently exhumed grave of a local. More recently, with the increase in the number of shipwrecks

in Migrating borders and moving times
Expertise, flexibility and lifelong learning
Ian Lowrie

the ‘task at hand’, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as raw data (Gitelman 2013): that data is always the product of specific forms of recording within sociotechnical systems such as experimental, financial or manufacturing infrastructures. In systems-theoretical terms, the data handled by data science is second-order products of these infrastructures observing themselves or their environments. As such, practically speaking, it is crucial begin with an abstract, ‘systems-based’ understanding of the algorithmic assemblage under study as a

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world