Arnaud Esquerre, “Les Os, les cendres et l’État”. Paris, Fayard, 2011

Who in Europe, is concerned today with bones and ashes of the deceased? French sociologist Arnaud Esquerre reveals that the French State has never so much cared for the dead than these last decades. Removing the church’s control over the fate of the corpses, it has indeed expanded its hold on the territory of bones and ashes. Since the 1970s, the report of human remains has indeed changed radically with the use of increasingly massive cremation, requests for return of human remains to “indigenous peoples”, the media coverage of the desecration of cemeteries or the development of DNA analysis and medical imaging. Read More

“Journal of Genocide Research”: Call for Papers

The editors of the Journal of Genocide Research (the official journal of the International Network of Genocide Scholars) invite expressions of interest for participation in a one-day research workshop on genocide and its memorialization in the country of genocide or in countries with a significant victim/refugee diaspora. How do post-conflict societies negotiate genocidal histories as public narratives, human rights education discourses, and means of documentation of criminal pasts, and/or reconciliation? How have museums, for example, advanced understanding of genocide or undermined it through selective witness perspectives and/or political biases? In what ways has social media shaped the delivery of genocide narratives and their communicability? The editors invite proposals that address these questions and raise others related to genocide memorialization in public, museum, and other institutional settings. The workshop is open in geographic and temporal coverage. Topics can address the evolution and politics of genocide memorialization in recent and colonial times in a national or transnational context, for example Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, the Mediterranean world, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. Read More

Art Installation “Map of Silence”

Argentine artist Rafael Landea’s multimedia installation, Maps of Silence, explores the political use of the concept of silence in different historical contexts. This work was created in collaboration with Gregory T. Kuhn. It features video performances of John Cage’s 4’33″ recorded in different countries.

Maps of Silence examines different historical contexts where the concept of silence took on crucial social and political dimensions. One of them is Buenos Aires, 1975, during a dictatorial government campaign ; this context is called by the artist, “Silence = Death” .