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Christian Suhr

reality to such a degree that it is often impossible to discern any resemblance between lived life and the cultural formations being described. For MacDougall, the ethical potential of ethnographic film and photography lies in its way of returning us to the concrete and detailed features of persons and their environments. Visual media have, as Castaing-Taylor also argues, a capacity for exceeding theory and for ‘showing anthropologists’ purchase on the lived experience of their subjects to be rather more precarious than they would like to believe’ (1996: 88

in Descending with angels
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Christian Suhr

, sacrifice, and submission of the human subject to an all-encompassing external structuring. If such a finite scheme of analytical thought has been attributed to the worlds of others, then somewhere along the way I must have left behind the ethical writing propagated by writers such as Levinas and Merleau-Ponty (see Chapters 1 and 3 ). Skimming through my notebooks and the many hours of film material, I am sometimes drawn towards other visions and opportunities that never reached the editing table or the pages of this book. Small details in

in Descending with angels
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Al-‘imaara (the building) as topos
Mona Abaza

after its publication, this novel still evidences an amazing contemporaneity, as if timelessness is what pervades Egyptian popular life. It is only humour and derision ‘that keeps Egyptians alive’, as Cossery acknowledged in a long interview filmed in 1991, following his peregrinations between Cairo and Paris (‘Albert Cossery: Portrait entre Paris et le Caire’, 1991). Once again, humour, having always been the essence of the Egyptian soul, is what shines through the daily interactions of the poor. The story takes place in an antiquated, decrepit building that is

in Cairo collages
The forensic and political lives of secondary mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Admir Jugo and Sari Wastell

7 Disassembling the pieces, reassembling the social: the forensic and political lives of secondary mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina Admir Jugo and Sari Wastell Introduction In a powerful documentary film entitled Statement 710399, director, activist, and former employee of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Refik Hodzić follows a trail of clues that he hopes will lead to the discovery of the fate of four young men (one a boy of only fifteen), who escaped the Srebrenica massacres only to be recaptured, interrogated, and

in Human remains and identification
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Ethnography for a data-saturated world
Hannah Knox and Dawn Nafus

produced, circulated and analysed using computational devices. To paraphrase Walter Benjamin’s famous aphorism about the effects of the then new technologies of film and photography on human engagement with the world, ‘every day it seems the urge grows stronger to get hold of a subject at very close range by way of its [data]’ (Benjamin 2008 [1939]). During the 2000s, with the continued increase in computational information processing capacity and the huge spread of smartphones and sensors there has been an increasing public concern about the challenge of data’s ‘bigness

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world