Jessica Auchter

The after-effects of mass atrocity – bodies and bones – struggle to be defined within memorial projects. This article seeks to examine the politics at play in displaying dead bodies to interrogate the role of materiality in efforts to memorialise and raise awareness about on-going violences. It focusses on the nexus between evidence, dignity, humanity and memory to explore bone display in Rwanda. It then takes up two artistic projects that play on the materiality of human remains after atrocity: the art of Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who took ashes from an urn at the Majdanek concentration camp and used them as the material for his painting, and the One Million Bones Project, an installation that exhibits ceramic bones to raise awareness about global violence. In thinking about the intersections between human biomatter, art and politics, the article seeks to raise questions about both production and consumption: how bones and ashes of the dead are produced, and how they are consumed by viewers when placed on display in a variety of ways.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Edward Bacal

I focus on two contemporary art installations in which Teresa Margolles employs water used to wash corpses during autopsies. By running this water through a fog machine or through air conditioners, these works incorporate bodily matter but refuse to depict, identify or locate anybody (or any body) within it. Rather, Margolles creates abstract works in which physical limits – whether of bodies or of art works – dissolve into a state of indeterminacy. With that pervasive distribution of corporeal matter, Margolles charts the dissolution of the social, political and spatial borders that contain death from the public sphere. In discussing these works, I consider Margolles’ practice in relation to the social and aesthetic function of the morgue. Specifically, I consider how Margolles turns the morgue inside out, opening it upon the city in order to explore the inoperative distinctions between spaces of sociality and those of death. In turn, I consider how Margolles places viewers in uneasy proximity to mortality, bodily abjection and violence in order to illustrate the social, political and aesthetic conditions by which bodies become unidentifiable. I ultimately argue that her aesthetic strategies match her ethical aspirations to reconsider relations to death, violence and loss within the social realm.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
John Harries, Linda Fibiger, Joan Smith, Tal Adler and Anna Szöke

This article will query the ethics of making and displaying photographs of human remains. In particular, we will focus on the role of photography in constituting human remains as specimens, and the centrality of the creation and circulation of photographic images to the work of physical anthropology and bioarchaeology. This work has increasingly become the object of ethical scrutiny, particularly in the context of a (post)colonial politics of recognition in which indigenous people seek to recover dominion over their looted material heritage, including the remains of their dead. This ethical concern extends to the question of how and under what circumstances we may display photographs of human remains. Moreover, this is not just a matter of whether and when we should or should not show photographs of the remains of the dead. It is a question of how these images are composed and produced. Our discussion of the ethics of the image is, therefore, indivisible from a consideration of the socio-technical process by which the photographic image is produced, circulated and consumed.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
T.K. Ralebitso-Senior, T.J.U. Thompson and H.E. Carney

In the mid-1990s, the crime scene toolkit was revolutionised by the introduction of DNA-based analyses such as the polymerase chain reaction, low copy number DNA analysis, short-tandem repeat typing, pulse-field gel electrophoresis and variable number tandem repeat. Since then, methodological advances in other disciplines, especially molecular microbial ecology, can now be adapted for cutting-edge applications in forensic contexts. Despite several studies and discussions, there is, however, currently very little evidence of these techniques adoption at the contemporary crime scene. Consequently, this article discusses some of the popular omics and their current and potential exploitations in the forensic ecogenomics of body decomposition in a crime scene. Thus, together with published supportive findings and discourse, knowledge gaps are identified. These then justify the need for more comprehensive, directed, concerted and global research towards state-of-the-art microecophysiology method application and/or adaptation for subsequent successful exploitations in this additional context of microbial forensics.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Overriding politics and injustices
Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha

In October 2011, twenty skulls of the Herero and Nama people were repatriated from Germany to Namibia. So far, fifty-five skulls and two human skeletons have been repatriated to Namibia and preparations for the return of more skulls from Germany were at an advanced stage at the time of writing this article. Nonetheless, the skulls and skeletons that were returned from Germany in the past have been disappointingly laden with complexities and politics, to such an extent that they have not yet been handed over to their respective communities for mourning and burials. In this context, this article seeks to investigate the practice of ‘anonymising’ the presence of human remains in society by exploring the art and politics of the Namibian state’s memory production and sanctioning in enforcing restrictions on the affected communities not to perform, as they wish, their cultural and ritual practices for the remains of their ancestors.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Christian Suhr

comparison of Deleuzian film theory with Islamic art, Marks ( 2010 : 18) points out how both Deleuze's cinema theory and much Islamic theology emphasise the necessity of a suspension of our perceived capacity for action and judgement. As Marks ( 2010 : 17) observes, both the Islamic concept of fanāʾ – described in Sufism and mainstream Sunni theology as a state of total annihilation of the self in remembrance of God – and Deleuze's concept of creativity involve the idea that the ‘psychic organization that both allows us to survive and prevents us from really being alive

in Descending with angels
Abstract only
Order
Mona Abaza

. At stake here are the vested interests in revamping the Belle Epoque Downtown, whose historic buildings have attracted the capitalists and tycoons who dominated the scene well before 2011, with the intention of appropriating the centre and its surplus value. Al-Ismaelia Real Estate Company has been acquiring a significant number of historic buildings in Downtown, such as the Art Deco Gharib Morcos Building, constructed in 1916; the Kodak Buildings, constructed in 1924; the Davis Bryan Buildings; the 22 ‘Abd al-Khalek Tharwat Building, constructed in the 1920s; and

in Cairo collages
Abstract only
Al-‘imaara (the building) as topos
Mona Abaza

culture (Abaza 2013b), which is associated with the reconfiguration of what Mitchell calls ‘the rhetoric of space’ (Mitchell 2012: 11). These transformations teach us that one of the Tale I: Al-‘imaara (the building) as topos 35 main material transformations of the city of Cairo since January 2011 has been, precisely, over the fascinating art and tactics of squatting in public spaces. Having said that, the paradoxical effect of the representation of Tahrir as ‘an image, a symbol, and an icon’ from its early days led to a much-contested visual saturation of images

in Cairo collages
Stewart Allen

introduction of government schools of art in every administrative town in 1853, the westernisation of India’s educated classes and the advent of new tastes and patronage among the princely maharajas, all served to put the traditional crafts of India in danger of extinction (Tillotson 1989: 60). The expansion of architecture as a profession continued apace, and in 1917 the Architectural Students Association, made up of former students of the Government School of Art in Bombay (known today as the J.J. School of Art), was established. This society, formed to promote

in An ethnography of NGO practice in India
Alison Powell

how the data walk process operates to articulate data to other concerns, employing many of these interdisciplinary elements. It charts my unfolding engagement with art practice and the insights that this provided to social scientific and public engagement work and identifies how these processes help to move beyond a focus on ‘data subjectivity’ as the primary way that datafication is experienced. It reflects on the data walk process as a means of surfacing the everyday experiences and reflections that many people have in relation to data by involving people with

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world