IAGS2017 Session 11

Day 3, 12 July 1630-1800 Session 11

Critical Genocide Studies and Prevention: Risks of the Genocide Concept

Location W332, Level 3, Forgan Smith
Chair Donna-Lee Frieze; Deakin University
Critical Genocide Studies and the End of the Genocide Concept
Authors Dirk Moses, University of Sydney
Abstract In 2008, I published an article, “Toward a Theory of Critical Genocide Studies” (http://www.sciencespo.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/fr/document/toward-theory-critical-genocide-studies) that criticized what I called the hegemonic liberal theories of genocide that were pre-occupied with the state and genocidal ideologies of hate. In its stead, I proposed a critical approach that drew on Frankfurt School thinkers to highlight how genocide was the product of a destructive system of inter-state relations. In this regard, I was following in the footsteps of truly pioneering scholars like Mark Levene, who himself drew on world systems theory. In this paper, I propose to advance the argument by showing how genocide is a conceptual historical contingency and an ethical mistake. Far from challenging the global order that produces genocidal-like violence, the concept’s use in international politics reinforces violence potentials and hierarchies.
Biography Dirk Moses has taught history at the University of Sydney since 2000, and was chair of global and colonial history at the European University Institute, Florence, between 2011 and 2015. He is the author of German Intellectual and the Nazis Past (2007) and editor of many anthologies on genocide. Since 2011, he has been senior editor of the Journal of Genocide Research, and is completing a book called The Problems of Genocide with Cambridge University Press.
Human Rights? What a Good Idea! From Universal Jurisdiction to Preventive Criminology
Authors Daniel Feierstein, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero
Abstract One of humanity’s greatest achievements in the last century has been the creation of international laws to judge those responsible for state crimes such as genocide. However, since the end of the Cold War, the discourse of human rights has been transformed as a wonderful excuse for military intervention to “prevent” crimes that have not yet been committed instead of a tool to judge State crimes. A clear example was the United Nations attack on Libya in 2011 in response to reports of “possible” crimes against humanity - attacks for which the UN invoked the new international principle of “responsibility to protect” (R2P). In fact, the attacks plunged Libya into anarchy, producing many more deaths than they were intended to prevent and allowing international companies to take control of the country’s oil wells. This paper critically evaluates the transformation of international laws designed to end impunity for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, into legitimations of military interventions to prevent disasters that have not yet occurred: a "preventive criminology". It argues that the legitimation of "pre-emptive” killing, far from defending human rights, has been transformed into the ideal way to violate them and to use denunciations as a new legitimization to ensure the control of oil and gas resources and geopolitical enclaves when the previous discourses (the Cold War or the terrorist threat) have lost their efficacy.
Biography Daniel Feierstein holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. He is Director of the Centre of Genocide Studies at UNTREF and Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. He is a member of CONNECT (the Argentine National Bureau of Research) and his works were used in the current trials in Argentina. He was the Former President of the IAGS, term 2013-2015.
Convention on Genocide Approaching 70
Authors Ewelina Urszula Ochab, University of Kent
Abstract The Convention on Genocide fails to adequately address the nature of the crime and the issues that the mass extermination of protected groups raises. It has to be considered that at the time of drafting the Convention the crime of genocide was novel. The approach taken by the drafters was based on the experience of the Nazi genocidal acts during World War II. Consequently, there may not have been sufficient information available to the drafters to allow them to scrutinise and address all challenges posed by the crime. However, after genocidal acts in Beirut, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Rwanda it is clear that the Convention on Genocide does not effectively prevent and punish acts of genocide. The wording used in the Convention is too weak to address the challenges posed by the crime of crimes. The Convention on Genocide does not provide for an effective system of supervision and control, leaving it to the international community as a whole. In 1973, Rwanda submitted that ‘the existing international measures concerning genocide are of limited effectiveness. The adoption of new measures, especially the adoption of new international instruments, seems possible and desirable.’ This warning from Rwanda, however, was neglected. And less than 20 years after that prescient statement was made the Convention on Genocide failed the State and its people. The 70th Anniversary of the Convention on Genocide should be used to consider introducing changes or to redraft the convention to ensure its effectiveness.
Biography Ewelina U. Ochab is a PhD candidate in international law, human rights, and medical ethics at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She works with a number of NGOs on the topic of persecution of Christians around the world, with main projects including the Daesh genocide in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram atrocities in West Africa, and situation of Christian minorities in South Asia. Ochab has written over 30 UN reports and has made oral and written submissions at the HRC sessions, the UN Forum on Minority Issues, and the Council of Europe. Ochab obtained a LL.B with honours in 2011 at the University of Kent. She has a certificate in law from the German-Polish Law School of Humboldt University in Berlin. She also has a certificate in law, war, and human rights from the London School of Economics and a certificate from the Human Trafficking Academy at St. Thomas Law School. In 2016, Ochab published a book on ISIS/Daesh genocide ‘Never Again: Legal Responses to a Broken Promise in the Middle East.’

Genocide Memory in Archives, Records and Museums

Location W349, Level 3, Forgan Smith
Chair Adam Jones; University of British Colombia
Three Museums of Suffering - Memory, Education and National Identity
Authors Katarzyna Jarosz, International University of Logistics and Transport
Abstract I focus my research on the narrative styles in three genocide museums, located in Armenia, Lithuania and Ukraine. Each museum commemorates a different tragic event: starting from the Armenian genocide in 1915, through the Great Famine in Ukraine in the years 1932-1933, up to the 50-year occupation of Lithuania by the USSR. Museums do not only represent history, they usually have a discourse with visitors and create a certain vision of history. The history told in museums can incorporate selected episodes into a national narrative. Underlining moments of suffering, of national shame, omitting other moments, these narratives create versions of history that fit into social, economic, political or religious conditions. I analyse the role that collective trauma plays in the process of shaping national identity. In this paper, I draw on Vamik Volkan’s approach to trauma, who posits that trauma refers to the shared image of an event that causes a large group to feel helpless, victimized and humiliated by another group. The image of the painful event is mythologised, transmitted from generation to generation, along with feelings such as hurt or shame, and becomes a significant group marker and an element of the group's identity I analyse and compare two narratives: the master narrative, as imposed by the state and the popular narrative in each of the museums. I also analyse whether there is a disconnection between the narration constructed by nation-builders and policy makers, created to fulfil political needs, and the narration lived by citizens.
Biography Dr. Katarzyna Jarosz has a Masters in French and Spanish linguistics and a PhD in archaeology. She defended her PhD in 2013 with a specialization in the history of archaeology. Her dissertation topic was: "Popularizing archaeology in Polish popular science magazines in the years 1945-2000." Her research interests covers the issue of relationships between science and society, archaeology and politics and mechanisms of cultural heritage protection. Currently she is working on a project, whose aim is to analyse the process and the elements of shaping national identity in post-Soviet countries, former republics of the USSR. She is an author of about thirty peer-reviewed papers regarding relationships between archaeology and society, way of science tabloidization, national identity in Central Asia and museums in Central Asia countries. She works as a lecturer at the University of Logistics in Poland.
Witnessing Argentina’s 40 Year Legacy of Truth, Justice and Memory: A Conversation
Authors Amy Fagin, Beyond Genocide Centre for Prevention
Johann Peiris, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Abstract In March of 1976 a military “golpe de Estado” thrust Argentina into 7 years of state organized extreme mass violence until the collapse of the military Junta in 1983. 2016 marks the 40 year anniversary of this era punctuated by kidnappings, mass arrests, torture, murder and operation of over 600 clandestine detention centers. During and since this period of Argentinian history popular democratic cultural and political initiatives have advanced participation and influence of representative democratic processes, for all Argentinians. With the objectives of understanding the socio-historical processes of this era, of establishing a survey introduction to cultural memory and museum initiatives in Argentina that address the history of this era, and of deepening an understanding of the effects that these initiatives have on truth, justice and memory; several scholars traveled across the country. Our tour included visits with local educators, government commissions, civil society organizations, survivor advocacy groups, archive commissions, artists, musicians, justices and attorneys to meet these objectives. This abstract is introduced as a creative response to this experience which we undertook as an academic group with both individual and joint objectives. The design of this presentation is as a panel “conversation” which will incorporate an initial “discussion” of themes specifically relevant to the conference topics, between two of the traveling scholars’ for a creative / academic response and enrichment of the objectives sought. To augment interactivity for each 20 minute segment each individual will be free to utilize graphic media; sound; literature or poetry to invoke a participatory session.
Biography Amy Fagin is a U.S. based visual artist specializing in the traditional art form of manuscript illumination. Her body of work represents a meta-modernist approach to the materials, techniques and theoretical principals used in manuscript illumination for contemporary consideration. She is author of Beyond Genocide; an emerging series of illuminations narrating a visual documentary arts perspective on global incidents of genocide and mass violence. Ms. Fagin is also an independent scholar in genocide studies and conducts research / seminars, lectures, workshops and advisory work on global initiatives of memory and memorialization through individual and collective arts expression and the museum experience. She has contributed expertise in international consultative events and currently serves on the advisory board of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. She regularly publishes editorials, reviews and essays on genocide, memory, memorialization, art and 21st century expression and education.

Johann Peiris has an academic background in the humanities and social sciences with a Masters degree in Sociology from New York University. His previous academic presentations include a case study of Chinese immigrants to Sri Lanka during the Cultural Revolution and the complexities of citizenship. As a practitioner working with new initiatives on memory work in post-war Sri Lanka, he is interested in learning about regional cultural expression of dealing with the past. As a participant of the exposure visit to Argentina through Beyond Genocide, Johann gained insight into creative methodologies in museology, remembrance culture through street art, poplar music, and educational initiatives integrated into sites of conscience. His passion for creating attitudinal change through education was nurtured through the involvement with an academic exchange for youth studying history from two universities that were previous divided by ethno-linguistic lines due the protracted civil war that ended in 2009.
Justice, Genocide Memory and Access to Records
Authors Tricia Logan, Royal Holloway, University of London
Abstract Record keeping and the destruction of records following atrocity and genocides imprint the first step towards or step away from reconciliation and justice. Collection of records and record preservation have direct consequences for survivors and often determine the efficacy of the production of genocide memory. In any form that genocide memory takes, records exist in countless forms. They exist in documents, images, oral histories, objects, landscapes and today, in social media. In highly digitized societies, access to records becomes easier but the access also faces new constraints. Currently, there are uses of records and increased restrictions that limit our access to evidence and threaten long-term preservation of records. This paper will discuss contemporary access to records with a focus on the post Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) period. The access to records and the ongoing pressure to either preserve or destroy Independent Assessment Process files containing personal disclosures of serious abuses reflects an uneasy precedent with record conservation. Contemporary reflection on post-TRC Canada will stimulate discussion in this paper about other international examples of access and erasure of records. While institutions strive to protect the privacy and safety of survivors and respect the use of their information, there are concerns that the state, churches and organizations obscure memory through the use or misuses of records. This paper will draw on several examples of conflicts within access, privacy, respect and memory that inevitably contribute or detract from efforts in reconciliation or transitional justice.
Biography Tricia is originally from Kakabeka Falls, Ontario. Recently, Tricia completed her PhD entitled ‘Indian Residential Schools, Settler Colonialism and Their Narratives in Canadian History’ in History at Royal Holloway, University of London. She also has a MA and BA both in Native Studies from the University of Manitoba. In 2000, Tricia started working with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation at the Southwest Region Manitoba Métis Federation and has worked with the AHF, Legacy of Hope Foundation and National Aboriginal Health Organization research on various projects from 2000 to 2014. As part of her work with Métis communities, Tricia took part in a Michif language revitalization project. Tricia’s research interests and writing originate from her work with Survivors of residential school and involvement with language revitalization. Most recently, Tricia worked at Irish in Britain as an Archivist/Researcher on an oral history project entitled ‘Irish Voices’ with Irish diaspora communities living in Britain.

Genocide Recognition and Denial

Location W431, Level 4, Forgan Smith

Rubina Peroomian; University of California, Los Angeles

The Presencing of Absence: Art as a Strategy for Overcoming Armenian Genocide Denial in Turkey Today
Authors Armen Marsoobian, Southern Connecticut State University
Abstract Despite an atmosphere of violence and state repression, activists continue to employ the arts and culture to overcome the Turkey’s state-sponsored suppression of the memory of the Armenian Genocide. With freedom of the press and political speech under attack, the arts are one of the few avenues left open for alternative voices to counter the state narrative of genocide denial. I will describe and analyze the strategies behind a number of recent multi-media and mixed art exhibitions that attempt to open up a space for the remembrance of Turkey’s Armenian cultural heritage that was erased by the genocide. In particular, exhibitions at Istanbul’s Depo artspace commencing in 2013 under the sponsorship of Anadolu Kultur, and the recent Empty Fields exhibition (2016) at the SALT Galata gallery will be examined. Finally, I will also analyze a new and more sophisticated denial strategy employed by the state to counter this memory work. Under the guise of openness to dialogue about the country’s Armenian past, the state has now employed culture and art for genocide denial.
Biography Dr. Armen T. Marsoobian is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University. He has lectured and published on topics in aesthetics, pragmatism, and genocide studies. He is the author of the highly praised, Fragments of a Lost Homeland: Remembering Armenia and two recently published companion books, Reimagining a Lost Armenian Home: The Dildilian Photography Collection and the bi-lingual, Dildilian Brothers – Memories of a Lost Armenian Home: Photography and the Story of an Armenian Family in Anatolia, 1888-1923 (Dildilyan Kardesler – Kayip Bir Ermeni Evin Hatiralari: Anadolu’da Ermeni Bir Ailenin Fotograflari ve Öyküsü, 1888-1923). He is a descendant of the Dildilian family and has organized exhibitions in Turkey, Armenia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. based upon his family’s Ottoman-era photography collection.
The Recognition of Armenian Genocide by the German Bundestag
Authors Ani Hambardzumyan, Yerevan State University
Abstract The research process of Armenian Genocide has been in the center of Armenian and foreign scholars’ attention for decades. In 1997, The International Association of Genocide Scholars declared unanimously that the Turkish massacres of over one million Armenians were a crime of genocide. However, when it comes to conviction, prevention and punishment of the genocide from political context, there is given a special importance to parliament resolutions, especially, when parliament is a constitutional and legislative body at the federal level in those countries, as, for instance, in Germany. The main focus of this study is to examine recognition of Armenian genocide by The German Bundestag, as it puts the study of Armenian Genocide on another level in political context. It is the first time, that the country, which has so close economic relations with Turkey recognizes the Armenian genocide, being a good example for other countries that do the opposite to avoid political conflicts. Additionally, Germany is the first country to help Turkey realize massacres and now accepts that. “The Bundestag recognizes the historical responsibility of Germany [in the Genocide of the Armenians]” was written in the text of resolution on the Armenian Genocide adopted by the German Bundestag. Moreover, Germany is the country, which not only recognizes the Genocide, but also is eager to help Armenia and Turkey improve their political relations.
Biography Ani Hambardzumyan is a Ph.D student at Yerevan State University. She graduated from Yerevan State University, Armenia in May 2014, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Cross Cultural Communication. By the end of the second semester 2016, she received a Master’s Degree in Foreign literature , Spanish literature and language. Since September 2015, she has become a Ph.D. student at Yerevan State University, Armenia. Since 2014, she has been a member and a volunteer of Armenian Progressive Youth (NGO). Since 2015, she has been a leader at YMCA Armenia. Since 2016, she has been a member of European Youth Parliament. Since 2016, she has been a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS). She speaks 5 languages (Armenian (mother tongue), Russian (excellent), English (excellent ), Spanish (Good), Italian (Beginner)).
Apology as an Act of Denial: Diplomatic State Craft and Genocide in the Turkish Context
Authors Tunç Aybak, Middlesex University
Abstract There has been great scholarly interest in the speech act of state apologies as diplomatic, instruments. This paper focuses on the official discourse of apology as a diplomatic state craft. For instance, the Turkish president Erdogan of recently publicly apologized for the ‘mistreatment’ of the Armenians and the extermination of the Alawite Kurds. In general, apology involves three types of rituals: purification—that is, asymmetrical rituals in which the offender issues an apology in order to purify his or her dismal past but does not necessarily need the approval of an offended party; humiliation—that is, asymmetrical rituals in which the offended party forces the offender to participate in a degradation ritual as a condition for closure; and settlement—that is, symmetrical rituals in which both sides strive to restore relations. A genuine ‘official’ diplomatic apology, on the other hand, comprises: acceptance of responsibility; acknowledgement of the wrongdoing; expression of regret and remorse; and commitment to reconciliation, restorative justice, reparation and closure, all of which seem to be lacking in Erdogan’s ‘tactical’ apology. In the Turkish context, apology is used as a tactical diplomatic state craft to reframe Turkish state’s denial strategies. The aim of this paper is to assess the official discourse of apology in the context of Turkey’s diplomatic state craft.
Biography Dr Tunc Aybak is currently the leader of International Politics Undergraduate Programme at School of Law, Middlesex University. He graduated from School of Political Science, Ankara University in International Relations and Diplomacy. He completed his PhD at the University of Hull in International law and Politics. He teaches on BA International Politics and MA International Relations programmes specializing in critical studies in geopolitics and diplomacy, foreign policy analysis, international political economy and politics of Europe. His main research areas and field work include Turkish and Russian foreign policy, citizenship and human rights issues in Europe. His recent publication include: Geopolitics of Denial: Turkish State’s ‘Armenian Problem’ Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies Vol. 18 (2) 2016.

Genocidal Symbolic Violence I

Location W426, Level 4, Forgan Smith
Chair Caroline Bennett; Victoria University of Wellington
Ritualcide as Priming to Genocide: The Case of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia
Authors Peg LeVine, Monash University
Abstract This author shows how ritual loss in Cambodia complicated the aftermath of trauma for the living and dead, and ruptured access to the cosmological order that bonds people. In response to this cultural dynamic, the word ritualcide was coined in Love and Dread in Cambodia: Weddings, Births and Ritual Harm Under the Khmer Rouge (LeVine, 2010). The book emerged from an eight-year ethnographic study into Khmer Rouge weddings and Cambodian ritual history before, during and after Democratic Kampuchea. LeVine explored the term further in October, 2016 when giving expert witness at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the so-called Khmer Rouge Tribunal. She defined the term for Wikipedia. “Ritualcide is the systematic destruction or alteration of traditional ritual practices and their sequencing… Ritualcide is not necessarily linked to genocide, but genocidal priming may gain a handhold when regimes tamper with collective tradition, leaving inhabitants vulnerable and/or susceptible to spirit-based harm and angst. Herein ancestral and cosmological pathways for intimate connection are often disrupted.” By reviewing humanitarian crimes through a transpersonal lens, paradoxically, we account for the breakdown of intimate contact with spirits and spirit places. Herein, ritualcide is relevant to genocide in other regions of the world steeped in animist culture, such as Rwanda and Guatemala. Rituals, when followed according to tradition, are safety mechanisms for society. When regimes erode, delete and morph rituals, the collective sense of protection and cultural continuity is threatened, as is safe patterns of intimacy. This ritualcide stands beside other crimes against humanity.
Biography Peg LeVine is a registered Clinical Psychologist (Ed.D.) and Medical Anthropologist (Ph.D.), and specialises in genocide and trauma studies. She is a senior research adjunct at the Center for Advanced Genocide Studies (The Shoah Foundation) in Los Angeles and the University of Melbourne, where she supervises PhD students. Peg consults to health-development organisations, and works directly with survivors of torture and trauma. Her most recent book is with University of Hawaii Press and Singapore Press, Love and Dread in Cambodia: Weddings, Births and Ritual Harm Under the Khmer Rouge. She coined the term Ritualcide, which was discussed when she gave expert witness in October 2016 at the ECCC (Khmer Rouge Tribunal). Her latest book is in press with Routledge Press on Classic Morita Therapy. As a bronze, wax, and ceramic sculptor, Peg’s images and exhibitions are simultaneously revealing and containing, and graceful and stiff – illustrating trauma fallout.
The Body at the Centre of Genocide: Beheadings and Affective Responses to Horrific Crimes
Authors Constance Duncombe, University of Queensland
Abstract In the past decade scholars have illustrated how important emotions are to the practice of foreign policy. However, there is a distinct absence in the literature surrounding how images act as visual triggers for emotion, which in turn influence foreign policy. More specifically, an important question arises here of how the act of beheading in the practice of genocide foments political responses to act. What is missing in accounts of foreign policy responses to genocide is a consideration of how horrific suffering mediated through visual imagery provokes a desire to act, a need to alleviate the suffering of distant others. This essay fills a gap in knowledge by offering a conceptual examination of the role images and emotion play. I contribute to these discussions through an examination of UK, US and Australian representations and its affective response to violent social media images of beheadings produced by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). I argue that visual representations of beheadings imaged through social media provoke affective responses in states. The call for the international community to respond to acts of genocide perpetrated by ISIS against the Yazidi religious minority in Syria and Iraq is thus intertwined with affective responses to the horrific violence committed by the group. Understanding this dynamic will provide crucial insight into how the visualization of horrific violence facilitates a quicker appreciation of acts of genocide as they unfold.
Biography Constance Duncombe is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her research interests include critical and interdisciplinary engagements with contemporary world politics; Middle East politics and culture; and the role of new/social media in contemporary world politics. Her work has been published in the European Journal of International Relations (2015) and Global Change, Peace and Security (2011).

Film Session F

Location Moot Court W237, Level 2, Forgan Smith
Naked Among Wolves (Nackt unter Wölfen) (1963)
Director Frank Beyer
Runtime 119 minutes
Abstract Adapted from the novel by Bruno Apitz and filmed on location at Buchenwald concentration camp, this film features many who were themselves prisoners of the Nazis, as well as younger actor Armin Mueller-Stahl. It is based on a true story of inmates who risked their lives to hide a small Jewish boy shortly before the liberation of the camp. Jankowski, a Polish prisoner from Auschwitz, arrives at the Buchenwald concentration camp carrying a suitcase. Inside the suitcase is a small Jewish boy he has kept from harm. Once at Buchenwald, prisoners working in the property storage room discover the child. Although the sight of the innocent child moves many, his presence in the camp endangers the work of the camp’s communist underground, who have organised a resistance group. As liberation of the camp approaches, the prisoners must come together to keep the boy safe from their Nazi captors.