On Bodily Traces and the ‘Disappeared’ in Sri Lanka

Malathi de Alwis

April 26, 2010

UMass Boston

Forced disappearance is one of the most insidious forms of violence as it seeks to obliterate the body and forestalls closure. The lack of an identifiable body of evidence, as it were, not only confounds the investigations of those who seek the “disappeared” and thwarts the assigning of accountability, but also makes “chronic mourners” of those left behind. In this talk, Malathi de Alwis explains how such chronic mourners “reinhabit the world” in the face of continuously deferring loss, and what might be its political outcomes.

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