Memory and Genocide: On What Remains and the Possibility of Representation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Memory and Genocide

On What Remains and the Possibility of Representation, 1st Edition

Edited by Fazil Moradi, Ralph Buchenhorst, Maria Six-Hohenbalken


182 pages

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Paperback: 9780367085360
pub: 2018-10-18
Hardback: 9781472482013
pub: 2017-04-06
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pub: 2017-04-07
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This book focuses on the ethical, aesthetic, and scholarly dimensions of how genocide-related works of art, documentary films, poetry and performance, museums and monuments, music, dance, image, law, memory narratives, spiritual bonds, and ruins are translated and take place as translations of acts of genocide. It shows how genocide-related modes of representation are acts of translation which displace and produce memory and acts of remembrance of genocidal violence as inheritance of the past in a future present. Thus, the possibility of representation is examined in light of what remains in the aftermath where the past and the future are inseparable companions and we find the idea of the untranslatability in acts of genocide. By opening up both the past and lived experiences of genocidal violence as and through multiple acts of translation, this volume marks a heterogeneous turn towards the future, and one which will be of interest to all scholars and students of memory and genocide studies, transitional justice, sociology, psychology, and social anthropology.


'When the survivors of genocide have passed away, their testimonies have aged, and guilty camps have turned into museums, then this superb collection will help us understand the unending attempts to remember and represent the horrendous violence in performances, narratives, and art works.' - Antonius C. G. M. Robben, Utrecht University, Netherlands, author of Political Violence and Trauma in Argentina

‘This remarkable collection engages with the challenging problem of how human beings cope with genocidal violence, through narratives, performances, visual representations and other modes of translation and remembrance. These richly contextualized case studies go a long way towards reminding us that extreme violence can be an occasion for socially productive forms of narration and recollection which resist the utter despair and speechlessness that accompany genocide.’ - Arjun Appadurai, New York University, USA

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Notes on Contributors

Preface, by Günther Schlee

Introduction: The Past In Translation

Fazil Moradi, Maria Six-Hohenbalken, Ralph Buchenhorst

  1. Intimate Interrogations: the Literary Grammar of Communal Violence
  2. Christi Merill

  3. Oral Performers and Memory of Mass Violence: Dynamics of Collective and Individual Remembering
  4. Laury Ocen

  5. Parallel Readings: Narratives of Violence
  6. Éva Kovács

  7. Genocide in Translation: On Memory, Remembrance, and Politics of the Future
  8. Fazil Moradi

  9. Remembering the Poison Gas Attack on Halabja:
  10. Questions of Representations in the Emergence of Memory on Genocide

    Maria Six-Hohenbalken

  11. Afterlives of Genocide: Return of Human Bodies from Berlin to Windhoek, 2011
  12. Memory Biwa

  13. Communicating the Unthinkable: A Psychodynamic Perspective
  14. Ivana Maček

  15. Between Nakba, Shoah and Apartheid: Notes on a Film from the Interstices
  16. Heidi Grunebaum

  17. The Rethinking of Remembering: Who Lays Claim to Speech in the Wake of Catastrophe?
  18. Rachmi Diyah Larasati

  19. Field, Forum, and Vilified Art: Recent Developments in the Representation of Mass Violence and its Remembrance
  20. Ralph Buchenhorst

Afterword: Wonder Woman, the Gutter, and Critical Genocide Studies

Alexander Laban Hinton


About the Editors

Fazil Moradi is finalizing his PhD thesis at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany.

Ralph Buchenhorst is a Senior Researcher at Halle University. He received his PhD from the University of Vienna and his habilitation from the University of Potsdam in Germany. Buchenhorst has been a DAAD Guest Professor at the University of Buenos Aires (2002–2006) and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2013).

Maria Six-Hohenbalken is a Researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, and Lecturer at the Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna.

About the Series

Memory Studies: Global Constellations

Memory Studies: Global Constellations

Memory Studies as an academic field of cultural inquiry emerges at a time when global public debates, buttressed by the fragmentation of nation states and their traditional narratives, have greatly accelerated. Societies are today pregnant with newly unmediated memories, once sequestered in broad collective representations and their ideological stances. But, the ‘past in the present’ has returned with a vengeance in the early 21st Century, and with it an expansion of categories of cultural experience and meaning. This new series explores the social and cultural stakes around forgetting, useful forgetting and remembering, locally, regionally, nationally and globally. It welcomes studies of migrant memory from failed states; micro-histories battling against collective memories; the mnemonic past of emotions; the mnemonic spatiality of sites of memory; and the reconstructive ethics of memory in the face of galloping informationalization, as this renders the ‘mnemonic’ more and more public and publically accessible.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General