‘truth’ but it is one with which we must grapple. As Chandra Talpade Mohanty argues, ‘the social organization of knowledge in the academy, its structures of inquiry, and discipline-based pedagogies are inevitably connected to larger state and national projects, and engender their own complicities as well as practices of dissent’.
With this in mind, in this chapter, we develop Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's passing reference to the notion of ‘constructive complicity’
Indigenous dispossession in British history and history writing
Imperial complicity: indigenous dispossession in
British history and history writing
In the wake of the anti-slavery successes of the 1830s, a disjuncture appeared in
Britain’s empire – between, on the one hand, the nation’s demonstrated commitment to abolition and emancipation and, on the other, its lacklustre and meagre
attempts to protect the Empire’s indigenous peoples. This cleavage affected both
what happened across the Empire and the ways that historians have written
about it. Although historians have paid its consequences insufficient
This article approaches a range of contemporary Scottish fiction: Iain Banks‘s Complicity and A Song of Stone, Irvine Welsh‘s Filth, Michel Faber‘s Under the Skin, James Robertson‘s Joseph Knight, Alan Guthrie‘s Savage Night and selected stories from Alan Bissett‘s Scottish Gothic anthology, Damage Land. The theme the article traces is pity, whether seen in a national or historical context, or as part of a wider panoply of what one might think of as ‘Gothic emotions’. The main contention is that it is possible that we reduce the scope of Gothic when we think of it as merely conducing to terror; whether we think of the earliest Gothic novels or of contemporary writing, there are often other feelings being stirred, a wider range of sensibilities being explored.
Between 1975 and 1979, thirty-one unidentified bodies bearing marks of torture appeared
at various locations along Uruguays coastline. These bodies were material proof of the
death flights implemented in neighbouring Argentina after the military coup. In Uruguay,
in a general context of political crisis, the appearance of these anonymous cadavers first
generated local terror and was then rapidly transformed into a traumatic event at the
national level. This article focuses on the various reports established by Uruguayan
police and mortuary services. It aims to show how,the administrative and funeral
treatments given at that time to the dead bodies, buried anonymously (under the NN label)
in local cemeteries, make visible some of the multiple complicities between the Uruguayan
and Argentinean dictatorships in the broader framework of the Condor Plan. The repressive
strategy implemented in Argentina through torture and forced disappearance was indeed
echoed by the bureaucratic repressive strategy implemented in Uruguay through incomplete
and false reports, aiming to make the NN disappear once again.
Témoignage , here, was not only an act of speaking out
against state violence, but also an act of resistance against complicity with the
notorious practices of the Ethiopian state.
As cold war binaries collapsed in the 1990s, long-suppressed grievances erupted in
the form of civil wars, posing new challenges to the stability of nation states.
States retaliated viciously: from Iraqi Kurdistan to Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo and
Chechnya, civilians came under increasing fire. Amid such
the Chief makes the mistake of going through the
Luma he has another thing coming!’
In the weeks that followed, Kambians blamed local stakeholders and the Chief for
failing to communicate the closure. A slogan painted on one of the local coffee
shops ( attaya base ) in Bamoi – ‘Ebola Phase II:
it didn’t work’ – connected the riots with broader
suspicions surrounding the outbreak and authorities’ complicity. The new
The Visual Politics and Narratives of Red Cross Museums in Europe and the
United States, 1920s to 2010s
Invoking the values of social commitment and grass-roots activism, the
volunteer’s narrative of German Red Cross museums served to motivate and
mobilize locals by showing the practical humanitarian contributions of local Red
Cross chapters. But here as well the narrative often came along with blinders and
problems. German Red Cross museums said little about the interconnections between
Red Cross activism and German colonialism or the complicities between the Red Cross
Writing about Personal Experiences of Humanitarianism
historical narratives of humanitarians may indeed be beneficial in helping the sector to critically reflect on its past as a way of underscoring its vital ethical foundations. As I say at the end of the preface, ‘[r]ecovering and activating the past compels humanitarians and others to address the colonial legacies, racial hierarchies and corporate complicities that are manifest in today’s aid industry’. I would want everyone who feels deeply invested in the humanitarian sector to play a role in that.
The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute is
Ikenberry , G.
J. ( 2012 ), Liberal Leviathan:
The Origins, Crisis and Transformation of the American World Order
( Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
D. ( 2005 ), The
Dark Sides of Virtue: Reassessing International Humanitarianism
( Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Lepora , C. and
Goodin , R.
E. ( 2015 ), On Complicity and
Compromise ( Oxford : Oxford University
Luttwak , E.
N. ( 1999 ), ‘ Give
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian
the arguments in favour of public criticism of actors who have abused human
rights or violated international humanitarian law (IHL) are twofold. It is hoped
that ‘naming and shaming’ will encourage perpetrators to improve
their conduct towards civilians, and there is additionally a concern that
remaining silent in the face of abuses implies some kind of complicity with
those abuses. Against such public criticism are concerns about access and staff