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

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
Editor’s Introduction

creating the conditions for a discussion between practitioners and researchers. Contributors to the current issue are researchers – practitioners stimulated by reflecting around their work – and practitioners turned researchers, with some articles being written by four hands. Most of the authors would consider humanitarian aid not as an exact science but an art, or at least a craft characterised by the ‘irreducible uncertainties’ of the situations encountered by teams on the ground. As Champy

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

). Betts , A. and Bloom , L . ( 2014 ), ‘ Humanitarian Innovation: The State of the Art ’, in OCHA Policy and Studies Series ( New York : United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ). Boltanski , L. and Chiapello , E . ( 2005 ), The New Spirit of Capitalism ( London and New York : Verso . Original edition , 1999 ). BOND ( 2003 ), Joint statement by members of the International Global Security and Development Network on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), ‘A

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Focus on Community Engagement

), ‘ Ebola: Limitations of Correcting Misinformation ’, The Lancet , 385 , 1275 – 1277 , doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62382-5 . Cohn , S. and Kutalek , R. ( 2016 ), ‘ Historical Parallels, Ebola Virus Disease and Cholera: Understanding Community Distrust and Social Violence with Epidemics ’, PLOS Currents Outbreaks , 1 , http://currents.plos.org/outbreaks/index.html%3Fp=64080.html (accessed 1 September 2018) . Détienne , M. ( 2002 ), ‘ L’art de construire des comparables. Entre historiens et anthropologues ’, Critique internationale , 14 , 68 – 78

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

, that it allowed for the permanent repatriation of the wounded, provided they did not take up arms again for the duration of the war (Art. 6). While such a provision was conceivable in the context of nineteenth-century conflicts, the advent of total war rendered it anachronistic. It was removed in 1906 with the Convention’s first revision, which granted the wounded prisoner-of-war status. With that genealogical detail out of the way, let us return to the generally accepted use of the ‘neutrality’ concept and ask ourselves whether it is ethically acceptable to pledge

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

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
Overriding politics and injustices

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

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

issuing orders and of the ordinary soldier in the field the knowledge that he may be called upon to answer for his breaches of the law before a war crimes tribunal 39 also acts as a deterrent and encourages compliance. 1 Schindler and Toman, 1309, Art. 8. 2 Convention I

in The contemporary law of armed conflict