Gathering the dead, imagining the state? Commissions for the recovery of human remains

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter focuses on the phenomenon of commissions for the recovery of human remains that have proliferated across Timor-Leste. I argue that the commissions practices constitute forms of nonstate governmentality (de Cesari 2010, 625) that take the governments valorisation programme in unexpected directions. By working to exhume, identify, and categorise the dead the commissions are, to some extent, contributing to the states goal of dignifying martyrs. At the same time, they are potentially enlarging the definition of martyrdom beyond the states narrow interpretation. Ultimately, the commissions bring to light the nations painful history and remind the state of its responsibility to dignify all the nations martyrs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Dead as Ancestors, Martyrs, and Heroes in Timor-Leste
    EditorsLia Kent, Rui Graca Feijo
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherAmsterdam University Press
    ISBN (Print)978 94 6372 431 9
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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