Led by Dr Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic
Anthropology has been described as a dark discipline because of its explicit focus on forms of violence, abjection and marginality worldwide. This session explores the cutting-edge anthropological scholarship on specifically political violence, including state terror, genocide, war, and shadows of historical violence, such as transatlantic slavery. Although the session contains some upsetting references to violence, the aim is to investigate how political violence reverberates after the killings stop. What juridical and social mechanisms are used to bring war criminals to justice? What are the limits of law? And what are the alternatives when conventional paths to justice are not available?
The session dismantles hierarchies of knowledge to show that ghosts and commemorative monuments are viable socio-political ways of making a claim for justice where legal redress fails. In addition to drawing attention to matters of socio-creative (or cultural) underpinnings of violence and justice, the session teases out the problem of visual and material representation of violence, especially in commemorative practices. The session will also challenge you to consider the ethical dilemmas of doing research with perpetrators of mass atrocities.
You will be asked to watch the award-winning 2012 documentary “The Act of Killing” in advance of the session. This is available on Kanopy and other streaming services.
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