Fields | Terrains | Vol. 3
McGill undergraduate journal of anthropology | Revue d’anthropologie des étudiantes et étudiants au baccalauréat de McGill
FIELDS TERRAINS Winter | Hiver 2013 | Vol. 3 McGill undergraduate journal of anthropology Revue d’anthropologie des étudiantes et étudiants au baccalauréat de McGill Winter 2013 Vo l . 3 Hi v e r 2013 Vo l . 3 Field s - Te r r a i n s McGill undergraduate journal of anthropology - Revue d ’a n t h r o p o l o g i e des étudiantes et étudiants au baccalauréat de McGill - Editor-in-chief - Rédacteur en chef Sheehan Moore Cover art - Couverture Sabrina Moro Translator - Traductrice Sabrina Moro Editorial board - Équipe éditoriale Shaina Agbayani, Lizzie Carolan, Maythe Han, MacLean Hawley, Ivy Huang, Carly Langlois, Marion Provencher, Noor Said-Abdessameud, Émilie Sarrazin, Mercedes Sharpe Zayas, Morgane Suel Special thanks - Remerciements Arts Undergraduate Society, McGill Department of Anthropology, Anthropology Students’ Association Note du rédacteur L’équipe éditoriale de Fields/Terrains est fière de vous présenter le troisième volume de la revue académique étudiante d’anthropologie de l’Université McGill. Chaque année, nous présentons quelques-uns des meilleurs travaux académiques et expérimentaux du département qui comprennent tant des projets de recherche que des ethnographies sensorielles. Les essais qui composent ce volume démontrent le large spectre de questions et intérêts que la discipline anthropologique embrasse, mais chacun partagent un commun dévouement à une recherche pertinente et engagée : la sélection de cette année inclut des travaux sur les stratégies symboliques de l’État russe, la formation d’identité politique lors du mouvement étudiant Québécois, un court film sur la mémoire et l’espace, et une ethnographie d’un ménage autosubsistent. Au nom de l’équipe éditoriale de cette année, nous vous remercions du soutien continu que vous accordez aux travaux étudiants. Nous espérons que l’édition 2013 de Fields/Terrains vous plaira. Sheehan Moore Rédacteur en chef Editor’s note The Fields/Terrains editorial team is excited to present the third volume of McGill’s anthropology undergraduate journal. Each year, we present some of the best academic and experimental work in the department, from research projects to sensory ethnography. The papers gathered in this volume are demonstrative of the broad spectrum of questions and concerns that the discipline of anthropology encompasses, but all share a commitment to relevant and engaged research: this year’s selections include work that reflects on the symbolic strategies of the Russian state and on political selves in the Quebec student movement, a short film on memory and place, and an ethnographic account of a foraging household. On behalf of this year’s editorial team, thank you for continuing to support student work. We hope you enjoy the 2013 edition of Fields/Terrains. Sheehan Moore Editor-in-chief Co n t e n t s 1. What forests feel Josh Sterlin - Ta b l e d es mati è re s 6. The weight of witnessing Iron Age bog bodies and their role in modern interpretations of death Robyn Powell 15. Crime and punishment Tuberculosis in the Russian prison system Bronwyn Larsen 25. Speech and the political self Dialogues with a hyperlinguistic activist Mercedes Sharpe Zayas 30. Paths of least resistance Food, abundance, and politics of indistinction in a foraging household Sheina Lew-Levy 38. Bookman of the World Mayumi Robinson 41. Personhood and materiality The extensions of the ancient Egyptian self Émilie Sarrazin 54. Sadomasochism as a sexual culture Contemporary manifestations and a Foucauldian deconstruction of feminist discourse Morgane Suel 64. Symbolic analysis of authoritarian control Assessing the pulse of the contemporary Russian state Diana Kontsevaia 81. La femme africaine La “Fleur du mal” de la France du XIXème siècle Sabrina Moro Review - Compte rendu 88. Language-tinted glasses Guy Deutscher’s Through the Language Glass Lizzie Carolan Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s What forests feel Josh Sterlin - “Since feeling is first,” (Cummings 1959:35) it is of itself utterly, it is a spontaneity, before any mediation. This is what poetry is supposed to be, the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” as Wordsworth famously said. He and the Romantics sought specifically to return to feeling, to firstness, getting away from social and symbolic remediation, from secondness and thirdness respectively. For the world to be felt through Wordsworth, and he through us, for us to feel together, we must, like him, use poetry to return to ‘the things themselves.’ Wallace Stevens, as Frank Salomon writes, demanded “of himself increasingly stringent new ways for words to cause, and not merely document, piercing effects of immediate perception” (Salomon n.d.:5). Poetry’s duty and use is not solely its recording of a feeling, but of conveying that feeling, pressing itself upon us, changing our interiors. This is how poetry “easily will unclose” (Cummings 1959:44) us, enabling us to walk the forest where we can encounter the selves themselves who dwell beyond the human. Meeting them there we find that they live in a forest of signs, which are seen from a multiplicity of perspectives, including our own. As we feel, gaze, think, and speak there, we find them doing the same with each other, and feeling, gazing, thinking, and speaking back to us. It is here that poetry can bring us, and here where poetry is transformed as their poiesis and our own become together. We can see then why poetry might do interesting things semiotically. The entirety of this project, which is concerned with firstness, is carried out in the medium of thirdness: language. Thus we can understand why it is riddled with experiments, attempts to play with this symbol system, with the possibilities of the triad in various ways. Syntax, grammar and structure are subverted and rearranged. Words are placed either on the page, or for the ear, to accentuate or evoke additional associations, experiences, and meanings. Sounds are perhaps emphasized so as to return to a more phenomenological encounter, punctured with orality to achieve more likeness or iconicity to the world-as-lived. Cummings does this in his almost obtuse poems that try to capture with words something beyond them, the unity of the animals, whether they are grasshoppers (in “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r”) or hummingbirds (in “(hills chime with thrush)”) (Moe 2012a). There indeed is something obtuse about our relations with nature, as the nature poet Gary Snyder writes in the preface to his collection called No Nature: We do not easily know nature, or even know ourselves. Whatever it actually is, it will not fulfill our conceptions or assumptions. It will dodge our expectations and theoretical models. There is no single set of “nature” either as “the natural world” or “the nature of things.” The greatest respect we can pay to nature is not to trap it, but to acknowledge that it eludes us and that our own nature is also fluid, open and conditional. 1 Fields - Winter 2013 - Hakuin Zneji puts it “self-nature that is no nature/...far beyond mere doctrine.” An open space to move in, with the whole body, the whole mind. My gesture has been with language (1992). It is the nature of semiosis that it cannot capture, but only gesture towards the world. There is then a tension in the words where they in some ways wish to destroy themselves. We experience the feeling within them as ready to burst forth. And yet, when we are opened through poetry, and thus can open the circuit of language to the world beyond the human, our poetry is transformed. We bring our whole body and whole mind to the open space, where we meet those bodies and minds of the forest, where we can gesture together, not capturing, but creating the world. Talking to strangers Anthropology’s goal in regards to other peoples has been to understand their symbolic context so as to be able to arrive at a true understanding of their culture. If we are to attempt to understand the ‘lives of animals’, of the forest, we must apply the same methodology. Although the symbolic is an exclusively human capacity, semiosis is not. Within literary studies, there has been a concurrent movement to that of anthropology’s semiotics towards a “multiculturalism” that includes the social networks of nonhuman animals (Moe 2012a:47). This thrust uses the literary term “text” to denote the engagement by animals in rhetorical situations, crafting their own communication for audiences with specific purposes. This is the Peircian sign, something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity (Kohn n.d.:8). This is the case with Orca whales when they work together to generate a wave to wash over an ice floe so as to push a seal into the water for the purposes of educating their children in the art of hunting (Moe 2012a:30), Humpback whales too coordinate their efforts to surround krill with bubbles from their blowholes. This strategy is an innovation which had to be communicated amongst the whales themselves. When this happens, they enter into a rhetorical situation, relying on the text of song and gesture to communicate (Moe 2012a:31). Animals show themselves to be culture creators in a more profound way than thought, and thus we must be more attentive than we had thought. Animals however, including ourselves, do not communicate only amongst themselves. We communicate with each other. Thus not only can nature think through us but also with us. Two ethnographic examples of this direct semiotic relationship between humans and others are between Maasai and honeyguides, and bottlenose dolphins and fisherman in Brazil. Both species use index as a way to communicate with humans so as to benefit both parties. The honeyguide is also called an indicator bird, using a call it only uses to communicate with humans, guiding them towards a beehive (Human Planet Episode 6 Grasslands 2011). The bird cannot obtain the honey on its own, and the human cannot find the honey so easily. They have developed a mutually beneficial relationship of communication which the Maasai respect, always remembering to leave offerings of honey to their bird guide. Bottlenose dolphins have entered into a relationship with Brazilian mullet fisherman in Laguna (similar relationships also occur in parts of West Africa), in which they not only act to drive the fish towards the fishermen’s nets, but signal to them with distinctive dives as to when they should cast them (Human Planet Episode 1 Oceans 2011). The fishermen say that they can tell the size of the school of fish and the direction it’s heading from the vigour and direction of the dives. The dolphins find it difficult to catch the fish while they remain in the unity of the school, and so are better able to pick off the escaping fish as they are broken up by the humans’ nets. This is not a result 2 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - of human training, but a developed communal relationship that has been going on since at least 1847 (Rogers 2006). This relationship has become so famous in southern Brazil that Galha Torta, “a dead bottlenose dolphin from the 1960s” is about as famous as Pele, “a global icon, one of the most famous men in the world” (Rogers 2006). The relationship has developed to the point where if there are no dolphins, “the dozen men on the banks didn’t even bother casting their nets,” saying that “(n) o dolphin, no fish...(t)hey have been helping to feed us for more than 150 years. We trust them” (Rogers 2006). The language of the earth It is through this interspecies communication that we can become with each other, and more like each other, where our conventional roles can reverse, as when horses are used in animal-assisted therapy, the horse somehow becoming the human whisperer. This is the borderland (Moe 2012a:35) where we become captivated by the animal others. Aaron Moe writes of Cummings, He knew that poetry happens in other places than words. It exists within the gestures of animals, an idea he makes explicit in his discussion of sea life: “the fluent technique of seals and of sea lions comprises certain untranslatable idioms, certain innate flexions, which astonishingly resemble the spiritual essence of poetry” (“Circus” 256). Here, Cummings conflates the gestures of poetic form with the gestures of animals, and this concept underwrites many of his typographical explorations where the gestures and vocalizations of nonhuman animals disrupts human language thereby creating an interspecies convergence. (Moe 2012a:37) Many of the peoples that anthropologists study live within this world of convergence. This is the case “in Amazonia where the differences between humans and nonhumans are thought to be of degree, not of nature, thus echoing Radcliffe-Brown’s depiction of totemism, in which, to quote his words, ‘the natural order enters into and becomes part of the social order’”(Descola 2006:1). We have seen that indeed nature is good to think with, good to write with and good to live with. Thus the stories that native peoples tell of learning from animals are literally true. Their truth comes from recognizing, and thus learning from, thought that is resident in nature. It also comes from learning from nonhuman agents themselves either through observations or direct rtansmission. This totemistic thought, this junction and sight of correspondence, is embodied in the Tao Te Ching where it is written that “highest good is like water” (Laozi 1963:64). We can understand this comparison merely as a writer’s flourish, a simile appropriating properties of water to elucidate philosophical or spiritual points. However, if we understand that the water itself has something to give us, that it is what elucidates the Tao, not Laozi, our weighting shifts from the human writer to his object/subject. This is what Moe means when he speaks of “bodily poiesis” (2012b). Moving beyond metaphor, beyond classification, we can bear witness fully to the lives of others. As we have seen the world is not a one way flow of human mind onto animal abyss. Getting past these notions, reified by our anthropocentric theory, we find a full nature. If we are to become like these societies that live beyond nature and culture, we must, like them, engage with the “untranslateable idioms” that nonhumans are. Whether the society classifies the world based on “a continuity of souls and a discontinuity of bodies” (Descola 2006:3) as in animistic societies, or “where some beings in the world share sets of physical and moral attributes that seem to cut across the boundaries of species” (Descola 2006:4) as in totemistic societies, the perspectives of nonhumans are recognized, respected, and valued. The differing bodily “clothes” or physical and moral attributes create contrasting perspectives of the world from 3 Fields - Winter 2013 - “a specific position and point of view in the general ecology of relations” (Descola 2006:4). Communing with these not only gives us a larger perspective of the world which can inform our poetics, but as we have seen, gives us a larger poetics, itself. This puts into perspective the importance that shamanism often takes on within these societies. The shaman’s role is to perform the impossible act of transforming into an Other and in doing so navigate and heal interpersonal/ interspecies relations. In some, more limited, ways this is the function and task of the anthropologist. This perhaps defines the role of the activist anthropologist that has emerged within contemporary anthropology. The anthropologist is attempting to translate. This is as well the task of the poet. Poetry has shamanistic as well as anthropological qualities. It seeks both to attempt to become others and in so doing, understand them and their perspective. This breach enables poesis to correct imbalances of the mind and the heart, which reverberate outward the repopulated world. Betwixt and Between The more-than-human world has already infected our lives. We have never been without them. Moe writes: In “The Origin of Metaphor: The Animal Connection,” Shepard observes a host of animal infinitives within human language that suggest an etymology, not in Latin or Greek, but in the rhetorical energy of animals. He writes, “The great zoo of animal infinitives—to bear, to lark, to hound, to quail, to worm, to badger, to skunk—is likewise irreducible” (9). Though Shepard does not use the term “rhetorical energy,” he surmises how these words emerged from humans who, as hunters and gatherers, engage with the gestures of nonhuman animals that quail, bear, lark, hound, worm, and badger. (Moe 2012a:49) (Shepard 1999:9), they are the nonhuman living within us. This biomimcry, thinking and feeling through what the forest thinks through us, is what will enable poetry to understand, convey, and reinstate our kinship with the world beyond the human. This lends a much more profound meaning to the traditional phrase, “art imitates life.” But just as we have learned from animals, and innovated on their basis, animals have done so on ours. There is the “beluga whale who mimicked the cadence and rhythms of human vocalizations” and the elephant who discovered a way to place his trunk in his mouth, manipulating sound in order to mimic us, to speak five human words (Moe 2012b; The Guardian 2012a,b). Thus life imitates art as well. As the texts merge, human and nonhuman, as we learn about each, from each other, learning together, and becoming together, crafting an intertexual fabric that bridges, we can again become companions, on the page and beyond. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo......... References: Castro, Eduardo Viveiros De 1998 Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 4(3):469-88. Cummings, E. E. 1959 100 Selected Poems. New York: Grove. Descola, Phillipe 2006 Beyond Nature and Culture. Proceedings of the British Academy 139:137-55. The Guardian 2012a Koshik the Elephant ‘talks’ to his Trainer. 2012b Talking Whale Named Noc Mimics Human Speech. Kohn, Eduardo n.d. How Forests Think. Laozi 1963 Tao Te Ching. London: Penguin. Leith, Brian, and Dale Templar 2011 Oceans:Into the Blue. In Human Planet: BBC. These are words of “self-consciousness, because they are verbs that describe our actions” 4 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - 2011 Grasslands: Roots of Power. In Human Planet: BBC. Moe, Aaron 2012a Zoopoetics: A Look at Cummings, Merwin, & the Expanding Field of Ecocriticism. Humanimalia 3(2):28-55. 2012b Zoopoetics: Another Vision And Revisio. In aaronmoe.wordpress.com. Rogers, Douglas 2006 Brazilâ€™s Sexiest Secret. In The Telegraph. Salomon, Frank n.d. The Andean Breath. Shepard, Paul 1999 Encounters with Nature: Essays. Washington, DC: Island Press. Snyder, Gary 1992 No Nature: New and Selected Poems. New York: Pantheon. 5 Fields - Iron Age bog bodies and their role in modern interpretations of death Robyn Powell A brief introduction to death While death has permeated every section of our existence, from the shows we watch on television, to the news that feeds into every device we own 24 hours a day , it has not become something with which we have a close association. Actual death is still something that is confined to sterile hospital rooms, dark funeral homes, and quiet whispers between only the closest of family members when absolutely unavoidable. As a society, we have a different relation to death than has ever existed in history to this point. Instead of accepting death as a necessary fact of life, we not only avoid confronting it if we can, but also use it as a transformative tool to overlay and represent multiple facets of the world as a whole, in an effort to gain a better understanding of the unfamiliar. In this paper, I will discuss the phenomenon of bog bodies in Iron Age Europe through the referencing of two major case studies produced by P.V. Glob, as well as the subsequent analytical findings of these bodies. I will examine the role of these bog bodies within history and the ways in which they have been conceptualized in a modern context, and finally I will discuss the ramifications of their usage within museums and what the concept of death has come to mean to our society. Additionally, I will discuss the potency of ritual, the place of violence, and question the meaning of a â€œman in a glass box.â€? Bog bodies are defined as human bodies, either complete or in assorted remains, which have been found in sphagnum moss bogs. These bogs mainly exist in Northern Europe, and are highly concentrated in Denmark. The preservation of these bodies necessitate highly specific conditions: a combination of highly The weight of witnessing Winter 2013 - acidic water produced by the unique chemical composition of the sphagnum moss, a low temperature due to the water being still, an anaerobic (low oxygen) environment created by the moss prohibiting air from entering more than a few layers, and natural high concentrations of salts from the surrounding ground all contribute to their anatomical conservation. All of these factors combine together to create the ideal chemical state for preservation, essentially pickling and tanning the bodies at the same time (Pearson 2001). It is important to note that while the skin and organs of the bodies are fully preserved, the bones are not. The calcium phosphate is dissolved by the chemical composition of the bog, essentially converting the bones into a gelatinous substance that breaks down at a much more rapid pace than the rest of the body. While these bog bodies appear to be highly preserved, often still including intact eyelashes, hair and fingernails, they are fragile. Upon exposure to the elements, they begin to deteriorate with irreversible and severe damage occuring after only a few days time. While they have lasted for thousands of years inside the bog, they are intolerant of outside conditions and must be carefully preserved as they are removed from the ground (Pearson 2001). The aforementioned is one explanation as to why we have so few complete bog bodies at the present time. Written records exist, mainly in the form of personal letters and daily diaries, showing that bog bodies were being dug up at early as 1640. However, the appearance of the bodies convinced those who found them that these were missing townspeople who had wandered out into the bogs and been killed. Since it was assumed that these emains might 6 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Robert Clark | National Geographic have been the bodies of their friends and neighbours, most times they were reburied in cemeteries by well-meaning people intent on giving them “proper Christian burials” (Glob 1969:63). Additionally, sphagnum moss, or peat moss, is a highly valuable asset used as cooking fuel. The men who entered the bogs to harvest this moss did so with heavy tools and likely minimal caution. The fact that many (bog) body parts have been found damaged or partial suggests that these harvesters were unaware of remains while working in the murky water, and simply worked right through them (Glob 1969:67). Bodies in their historical context The first bog body to be removed and studied in a scientific lab was on May 8, 1950, when Peter Vilhelm Glob was summoned to the Tollund area of Denmark, to what some peat workers thought was a recent murder scene (Glob 1969:20). As fully recounted in his book, The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved, what he found when he reached the bog was a man clad in a tightly pointed leather cap and a smooth hide belt. Furthermore, 10 gold disks, 18 glass beads and a bar of silver were found around him in the moss (Glob 1969:25). Glob named him the “Tollund man,” and had the body removed to the lab of Dr. Thorvildsen, who had the presence of mind to store it in a combination of the bog water and various other chemicals to maintain the preservation. His analysis situated the body between 210 and 410 AD, which places it within the Roman Iron Age (Glob 1969:46). Most importantly, the Tollund Man was found to have a doubletwisted hide noose wrapped so tightly into his throat that it had become embedded into the skin (Glob 1969:57). In 1952, in a bog only 11 miles east of Tollund, another body was found by Glob which came to be known as the “Grauballe Man,” and which happened to be situated within the same timeframe (however on the later end of the spectrum) as the Tollund 7 Fields - Winter 2013 - Man. The Grauballe Man has the same stomach contents of spring grains as the Tollund Man did. Additionally, both of the men showed a similar diet as proven by a protein analysis of their hair; they both had evidence of high-quality diets without periods of starvation throughout their lifetime, both were in their twenties to early thirties when they died, and both had neat fingernails, cared-for hands, and healthy features. These commonalities led to these men being interpreted as relatively high-status members of their society (Glob 1969:152). In fact, the only major difference was that the Grauballe Man showed significantly more severe and violent injuries than the Tollund Man: his throat had been slashed numerous times, his tibia broken and his skull deeply smashed (Chamberlain 2001:64). The general academic consensus on the research is that these men were the victims of ritual sacrifices by Iron Age tribes (Green 1998; Kelly 2006; McLean 2008; Pearson 2001; Sanders 2009). Along with these men, thousands of pottery vessels filled with food, braids of womenâ€™s hair, valuable metal weapons including spears and knives, even entire assembled plows and wagons were found (Glob 1969:146). The Linascrogher bog alone contained swords, scabbards, spearheads, spear-shafts, an iron sickle and adze, a billhook axe, sculpted bronze neck rings, bracelets and spiral rings (Kelly 2006:28). However, the most telling of these artifacts were deposits of what appeared to be fertility goddesses, with the common exaggerated breast, hips and sexual organs. Amulets carved from black schist depicting goddesses were located with the bodies, and had small holes pierced in the top suggested that they might have been hung on cords or worn as amulets (Glob 1969:156). These goddess figures were depicted wearing double twisted collars, identical in detail to the rope used to hang the Tollund Man. Finally, enormous iron cauldrons have been found sunken into the bog, their rims and sides covered in elaborate depictions of varying scenes. These cauldrons are particularly stunning due to the fact that the size and composition of the metal renders them highly valuable, quite possibly having represented nearly the entire economic potential of a tribe at any given time (Glob 1969:171). One of these such cauldrons, located in a small bog in Gundestrup, Denmark, depicts a detailed scene of a man being held down by others while having his throat slashed, with his spilled blood collecting in the cauldron before being poured onto the ground after the body is deposited (Glob 1969:177). It is important to note here that the deposition of all of these objects has lead to the creation of an alternative theory; in his book, Secrets of the Bog Bodies: The Enigma of Iron Age Explained, Kelly posits that all of these items are actually votive offering in their own right, used to both mark and ritually protect the boundaries of tribal territory (Kelly 2006:30). This theory was generated around the fact that most of the deposits are weapons, or closely related to battle and warfare. However, due to the fact that these are also the same objects often associated with bog bodies, and yet far from what would have logically been tribal borders, this is not the most commonly accepted theory. A significant piece of evidence to support the ritual sacrifice theory concerns the stomach contents of the two bog bodies. Both the menâ€™s stomachs contained nothing besides a thick gruel paste of coarsely ground spring grains along with large amounts of bog water. Although the grains were all plants which would have sprouted in the spring, a large portion of them were weeds, or nonnutritional grains, which may have suggested that these men were sacrificed in a time of famine for the tribes (Pearson 2001:72). At their peak age and physical health, these men were likely to have been highly valued members of their tribe, and their loss would have been an enormous sacrifice for the tribe 8 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - in terms of both war and economic potential. Markings on many of the artifacts have suggested that these tribes adhered to a form of Germanic paganism (Glob 1969:153), whose gods were powerful gods of strength and warfare. Following this, it is logical to propose that they felt that the sacrifice of a high-status man would have been of more value to the gods than one of lower-status, and therefore more likely to bring them what they sought. Following the naturalistic ideals of paganism, interring the men with stomachs full of spring grains would have been a way to symbolically ensure that those grains would grow from the ground anew in the coming months, or essentially “planting” them inside the sacrificial victim (Green 1998:178). Additionally, it is suggested that these men went willingly to their deaths. Unlike other civilizations that practiced ritual sacrifice through the use of captured prisoners of war (like the Aztec), or children given by their parents to a higher authority (as with the Inca), there is evidence to show that the men did not fight their demise. Analysis of some of the pottery, which has been recovered near the bodies, shows traces of a rudimentary form of fermented alcohol made from some of the grains (Glob 1969:146). It is possible that the men were provided with alcohol before the ritual sacrifice, possibly in an attempt to placate and relax them, or to allow them to forge a better connection to the world of the gods. Moreover, the bodies show no signs of defensive trauma to the arms, and no inordinate straining or grinding in the muscle joints, which would have occurred were the victim trying to escape (Arnold 2001:217). Furthermore, there is no indication that the men were bound in a way that would have restricted them from fighting back. Even the expression frozen on the face of the Tollund Man is one of peace and tranquility. On the other hand, the same cannot be said for the Grauballe man, but one must consider that he was likely experiencing a significantly higher degree of pain from both the deeply broken bones, and the repeated slashing of his throat. The theoretical context of bog bodies In his work entitled The Uncanny, Sigmund Freud draws our attention to the ways in which we relate to the uncanny. He defines “the uncanny” as the exposure or bringing to light of something originally intended to remain hidden and unseen (Freud 2003:48). In this sense, these bog bodies now exist in a liminal state between the familiar (a human body), and the unfamiliar (a deceased human body in a state of preservation). Under any normal circumstances, a person who has “passed away” is intended to do so in every possible meaning of the phrase. Whether it be the ritual consumption of the flesh of the dead by their community members to allow them rapid passage into the spirit world (Conklin 1995)or the more westernized practice of burying the dead in marked cemeteries, the physical body is usually something which served as a vessel for the soul and which is no longer required after death. Thus, it falls within the realm of the uncanny to view a body, which could resemble any living person today, and know at the same time that they have been deceased for thousands of years. As Karin Sanders adeptly describes it in the work Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination, these bog bodies begin to shift in the theoretical space from humans to objects (Sanders 2009:166); they are no longer representative of the living human beings that they were, but instead exist within the realm of objects and artifacts in essentially the same way as the numerous votive offerings that were interred alongside them. Under Freud’s theory, the bodies would have become a part of the uncanny from the moment they were sacrificed and sunken into the bog. These were not graves that the families of the deceased would have traveled to mourn at, instead, they were spiritual places of connection with gods. 9 Fields - Winter 2013 - Here, the bodies would have slipped into what appeared to be a deep and endless abyss, and in doing so, they would have been symbolically removed from that place as offerings to the gods. Their bodies would have become the messengers of the people in an effort to renew their food sources for another year, and in doing so, the bog would become a marked location to link all the members of the tribe in a powerful way (Williams 2003:107). Memory, in this case, would have been generated through the entire spectacle and performance of the death and memory of each person (sacrifice?) regarding their contribution to, and their participation in, the ritual. The Iron Age would have been a highly brutal time, with regular warring between tribes over land boundaries and resources, and as such, violence would not have been an uncommon sight to many of the people. It was quite possible that all of them had experienced it in some way, either through watching one of their warriors be viciously struck down in battle, or more likely, from watching members of their community die in a range of ways. People would have died fairly often from various diseases, injuries related to work, or simply by accident, making human suffering to some degree not all that concerning in the Iron Age mindset. Yet, consistent within many known societies, blood has strongly represented the liminal state between life and death. Williams suggests in his Archaeology of Remembrance: Death and Memory in Past Societies, that in order for these rituals killing to have had an effect on the community, they would have necessitated a level of killing both shocking and violent enough to have broken through the shrouded minds of the desensitized people (Williams 2003:105). In this sense, bones needed to be broken, and blood needed to spill dramatically in order to create a sense that the ritual was something out of the ordinary, something that would have held a powerful effect, and something that would have been sufficient enough to garner both the attention and favour of the gods. Blood needed to be rapidly taken from the body if the death was to be called a sacrifice. If not, it was simply a slower, more drawn out manifestation of a natural death. It has been suggested that this is one explanation in regards to the more violent demise of the Grauballe Man, by slashed throat and broken bones, compared to the Tollund Manâ€™s less vicious death by garroting. Had the Grauballe Manâ€™s tribe been in a more dire state of affairs at the time of his death, perhaps due to a rapidly dwindling food supply, they may have felt that the most ideal way to get the gods to acknowledge them would be to provide them with a highly violent sacrifice which could not be ignored. Anne Ross, expert in Iron Age religious practices, has suggested that the multiple injuries on different parts of the Grauballe Man might have been an attempt to make multiple sacrifices from a single man (Ross 2009:43). For example, on one hand the severe injury to the skull might have been a bodily sacrifice to a Germanic deity which was represented by the head, while on the other hand the slashing of the throat and the spilling of the blood could be interpreted as a second sacrifice to a god of a higher authority (represented by the fact that this is the act which finally killed the man). It is also possible that their desperation led them to try and speed up the process of the execution, and deposit the body as rapidly as possible. This theory is supported by the fact that extensive laboratory analysis of the bodies, along with their level of preservation, has shown that the water temperature range when the Grauballe man was sacrificed was colder than the range where the Tollund Man was. In order to preserve the body, the ideal temperature under which to inter them would be less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which would have been the temperature of the bog in early to mid spring (Glob 1969). This was the period during which the Tollund Man was preserved. However, the Grauballe man appears to have gone in at a lower 10 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - temperature, suggesting that he was deposited in late winter. This early deposition may have been the result of a tribe so desperately eager to solicit the assistance of the gods that they had begun their rituals earlier than usual. Ritual sacrifice and collective consciousness These rituals fall directly under the concept of collective consciousness as laid out by Emile Durkheim in his 1972 seminal work, Religion and Ritual. Collective consciousness is the idea that forms when a practice, idea, or in this case, ritual, joins itself within the behaviour and minds of an entire group of people as a whole. This leads them to exist for a time in a single state of consciousness; it is the shared attitudes and moral beliefs that function as a unifying force within a society (Durkheim 1972). In the particular case of bog bodies, following the ritual sacrifice, the individuals in the crowd forget themselves for a time, and in doing so renew their identities as members of the collective society. This regenerates the bond within their society with the idea that they all need to come together to appease the gods, to keep the tribe fed, and to remain protected (Durkheim 1972:228). These ideas were necessary for the survival of the tribe; if they did not exist, then each individual would be solely responsible for caring for themselves and their families. It does not appear that these rituals were intended to legitimate the supremacy of the tribe leaders by displaying their power of life and death over individuals, nor as any form of punishment levied against members of the tribe for transgressions. Rather, the rituals took place to revive the ideas that they, as a whole, could not survive without the proper sacrifices to the gods that provided them with food each year. Interpretation and relations to death in the modern context While there has been extensive discussion amongst the academic and scientific communities regarding the analysis of bog bodies, the same cannot be said for the public sphere. Those who do not work within a lab, museum, or university often see these discoveries and subsequent studies in highly subjective ways. The sheer presence of these bog bodies generates a paradox: these people (when referred to as people at all) resemble us and could be any one of us after our deaths, however we are conscious of a 2000-year temporal separation. We see that they have died violently, and feel a certain sense of unease knowing that they were “tossed” into a cold, wet bog. In this sense, these deaths do not make sense to us in a westernized mind-frame; our fathers and brothers do not die in front of our eyes under a swing of a sword on a battlefield, and we are not sacrificing members of our communities to the gods to ensure a plentiful grain harvest. In fact, we are a society that abhors violence in its entirety, from physical violence to a heated debate over what constitutes “verbal” or “psychological violence.” That being said, how can we begin to understand what these bodies mean when we are so drastically separated from their life ways? And what does it mean to display and view these bodies in a museum setting Sanders proposes that we choose to view the dead because we want some sort of relationship and understanding with them (Sanders 2009:35). We are obviously aware of death, which holds a certain level of mystery and the unknown to us. While we know that death occurs, we often do not have a chance to be in proximity of the body after the person has died. Our own dead are often covered with a white sheet and whisked off to a morgue. The next time they are seen by those who knew them in life is if the family chooses an open casket funeral. Even at this point, the body is often so saturated in chemical products and paints that they may not even appear to be deceased. This element is especially expressed in our language choices, whereby terms such as “eternal sleep” are often used, not directly 11 Fields - Winter 2013 - acknowledging that the person is dead, but merely sleeping peacefully (and permanently). Viewing bog bodies in museum settings gives us a means of experience them, yet the cases and displays create enough of a “buffer zone” that the observer isn’t inclined to feel any sense of fear at the presence. However, while we are not experiencing any fear, this enables us to incorporate other emotions. These bog bodies have the ability to generate multiple interpretations by the viewing public. This is what Sanders refers to as “the weight of witnessing,” or, the heavy feeling one has when faced with something holding extreme gravity (Sanders 2009). This would be the feeling one experiences at, for example, a Remembrance Day parade, a Holocaust museum, or when standing in front of Ground Zero in New York. It is the overwhelming feeling that the observer is experiencing something of immense power and significance. This is the “weight” felt by many people who observe the bog bodies; even when the body is presented in the form of a photograph or video clip, there is still the moment in which the body is given the ability to “come alive again” (Sanders 2009:33). As we observe, we often cannot help but to attribute lives and ideas to these people of the past. When there is no personal correspondence, no living photographs, no recorded video, not even a paper trace to give us the full story of their lives, people tend to create life-stories using their own ingrained histories and interpretations. Essentially the bog bodies become re-humanized, without returning to the human lives they actually lived. They become re-humanized in the ways we want them to be: as representations of what we feel they should be and as sounding boards for our own social consciousness. Bodies on display – The ethics and consequences of displaying bog bodies Both the Tollund Man and the Grauballe Man are currently displayed in two museums in Denmark. However, the ways in which they are displayed is very particular. The Tollund Man is displayed with small mirrors that allow the viewer to have visual access to, and thus focus on the noose twisted into his throat. He is also displayed separately from the votive offerings that had been found in the bog. From an archaeological point of view, the Grauballe man is displayed in an even more shocking way. The museum has dedicated a special section of a wing for his display. In this section, viewers are filtered in through a small doorway where they file into the room in a single line. Upon reaching the body, the Grauballe Man is displayed in a small room containing nothing besides his glass display case. There is no text, no information placard, and no audio or visual displays of the associated objects of any kind: just the glass case and the man, with a single spotlight overhead. The intention behind this was so that each viewer of the body could interpret it in his or her own way, thus enabling full subjectivity and endless potential for different experiences without having to outright consider the historical or empirical nature of the display. The issues with this are both numerous and obvious. From an anthropological perspective, how can we interpret the display of a bog body, which actually has a great deal of known historical context, without any form of information? Doing this represents an entirely post-modern standpoint, which suggests that historical and scientific information about a subject is not only irrelevant, but it also can be perceived as ethnocentric. By removing the historical data, we are removing the entire significance of the bog body victim, and figuratively reducing him to exactly that: a “victim.” The sacrifice and what the ritual meant to his tribe thus becomes extraneous. This means of context-less display gives the viewer the ability to ignore data entirely, and consequently generate his or her own subjective 12 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - interpretations of the bog body and its relation to life and death. More often than not, the focus of the viewer falls upon the clearly slashed throat, whereby the interpretation that follows becomes one centered around the “horrors” of this type of “savage violence” in “ancient times.” These interpretations allow for two possible directions to be taken. The first is that the viewer is allowed to leave the body in the past, in a manner of speaking. In this sense, viewers may express shock and disgust and be glad that “something like this would never happen here.” While there are likely not many people still practicing ritual sacrifice, there still exist communities that are preserving their loved ones’ bodies in visible ways. For example, archaeologist Alexis Mantha generates elaborate descriptions on this subject through his work on above-ground burial practices in Rapayan, Peru. These burial practices, along with the way the Rapayan community views their relation to the dead, continues to this day (Mantha 1982). Although these bodies cannot be related back to violence in any way, they are still considered shocking to Western sensibilities because of the fact that deceased relatives are being kept inside the walls of homes and placed prominently on front porches. The second direction of interpretation is one where the bog bodies are overlaid with a mask both subjective interpretations and linkages to other subjects entirely. Our attitudes towards death are transformed by our encounters with it. In this sense, if the frame of reference with which we conceptualizes death is one where death is always a crime levied against the life of a human being, then the mask we will overlay on the bog body will not be objective. In her work Representing the Dead, Giles states that she has found museums using bog bodies as symbols for genocides, the Holocaust, and victims of violent crime (Giles 2006). These representations focus solely on a body before death, and thus ignore what the actual death might have meant during an individual’s lifetime and in his or her social sphere. Finally, as anthropologists seeing how artifacts are being treated, we can ask ourselves: what becomes of the educational mission at the core of museums’ mandates? Knowing the ways in which modern society relates to sensitive subjects like death, sacrifice, and the human body, what role must the museum and the scientist play in assuring that the public is sufficiently educated? Furthermore, what would be the ramifications be if a natural history museum removed the placards and labels from their dinosaurs, and simply stated that all that was necessary was for the public to “think about how the dinosaurs make them feel”? If thought keeps moving in such an extreme postmodern direction, what hope is there for empirical study in the future of anthropology? Will we come to the point where the purpose of museums is to generate social commentary and not to provide scientific and public education? This would be just the beginning of the fears expressed by Dr. Sanders: that science and history museums will begin to travel down the slippery slope of being transformed into art galleries made up of artifacts (Sanders 2009) Where this to happen, the discipline of anthropology would unfortunately be swift to follow. The past to the future – Where do we go from here? There are vast differences between the collective consciousness of Iron Age tribes, and the collective consciousness of most modernized societies. One of the missions of the anthropologist has been to locate human history, study it, and bring it to light in a manner where we can incorporate it into our understanding of humanity as a whole. Although bog bodies have served a 13 Fields - Winter 2013 - critical purpose within their societies, I have contended here that the ways in which we conceptualize death and bodies today are not necessarily beneficial to the preservation of their fascinating history. While we bear the â€œweight of witnessingâ€? on our shoulders when viewing the results of violent, ritualistic death, we also bear the weight of human history, and in accordance, a responsibility to it. Viewpoints will continue to change as time goes on, as they have done for the entire existence of humanity, thus it is foolish for us to dismiss critical information on the basis that it offends our current ethics and sensibilities. Viewing and displaying objects that hold deep and potentially disturbing meaning does not mean that we promote such darkness, nor have the intention of causing offense. It simply means that we recognize the great educational power of history, whether we choose to use tidy pacifist moments, or moments of violence and bloodshed. It is pertinent that we take into account the ways in which our own viewpoints and beliefs position the lens through which our interpretations of the world are filtered. Perhaps through these bog bodies, these perfectly preserved slices of time, we have a valuable opportunity to gain insight into the ways in which our society forms its ideas about death, violence, and what it truly means to die, yet live, in history. References Arnold, Bettina 2001 Limits of agency in the analysis of elite Iron Age burials. Journal of Social Archaeology 1. Chamberlain, Andrew 2001 Earthly Remains: The history and science of preserved human bodies. New York: Oxford University Press. Conklin, Beth 1995 Thus Are Our Bodies, Thus Was Our Custom. American Ethnologist 22(1):75-101. Durkheim, Emile 1972 Religion and Ritual. In Emile Durkheim: Selected Writings. A. Giddens, ed. Pp. 219-238. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Freud, Sigmund 2003 The Uncanny. D. McLintock, transl. London: Penguin. Giles, Melanie 2006 Bog Bodies: Representing the Dead. In Respect for Ancient British Human Remains: Philosophy and Practice. Pp. 1-14. Manchester Museum: Manchester University. Glob, P.V. 1969 The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved. R. Bruce-Mitford, transl. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. Green, Miranda 1998 Humans as Ritual Victims in the Later Prehistory of Western Europe. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 17(2):169-189. Kelly, Eamonn P. 2006 Secrets of the Bog Bodies: The Enigma of Iron Age Explained. Archaeology Ireland 20(1):2630. Mantha, Alexis 1982 Territoriality, social boundaries and ancestor veneration in the central Andes of Peru. Journal of Anthropological Anthropology 28(2):158-176. McLean, Stuart 2008 Bodies from the Bog. Thames 12(3):299308. Pearson, Michael Parker 2001 Earthly Remains: The history and science of preserved human bodies. New York: Oxford University Press. Ross, Anne 2009 Iron Age Religious Practice. In Lindow Man. J. Joy, ed. London: British Museum Press. Sanders, Karin 2009 Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Williams, Howard 2003 Archaeologies of Remembrance: Death and Memories in Past Societies. USA: Springer. 14 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s Tuberculosis in the Russian prison system Bronwyn Larsen Introduction Tuberculosis, a highly contagious bacterial infection afflicting the respiratory system, has for centuries decimated populations and incapacitated public health initiatives. Known as the ‘White Plague’, tuberculosis propagates in unkempt and unsanitary conditions where poor ventilation allows for airborne transmission. The advent of antibiotic treatment in the past century transformed tuberculosis, however, from an untreatable malady into one that could be subdued, even banished from the bodies of the infected. New and effective forms of therapy decreased infection rates and tuberculosis (TB) subsequently lost priority in public health schemes worldwide. Though subdued, tuberculosis never disappeared and recent events in Russia, China, and South America have reinvigorated infection rates and fostered new strains of drug-resistant tuberculosis (Migliori et al. 2010). The prisons of PostSoviet Russia have garnered international attention as tuberculosis hot-spots, illustrating the resurgence of TB in marginalised groups amid poor health conditions. “Prisons have long been associated with epidemics” due to their often overcrowded and unsanitary conditions which allow for the amplification of infectious disease transmission (Stern 2003: 178). This paper will address how the weakened economic and social conditions of Post-Soviet Russia have intensified its poor prison conditions and led to an outbreak of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis among those incarcerated. By first presenting a thorough case study of Russia’s prison TB epidemic from the 1990s to its present situation, the linkages between health inequalities and social disadvantages among vulnerable and Crime and punishment - marginalised populations will be explored. Subsequent analysis of this case study will first elaborate on the connections between poverty, tuberculosis, and health inequalities before returning to the ethical dilemma poor prison conditions engender: where do the rights of a prisoner stop and the rights of a patient begin? The rights or lack thereof of infected Russian prisoners leads into Foucault’s notion of ‘biopower’ which will be addressed in the context of Russia’s penal system and the structural violence that perpetuates health inequalities in Russia’s current infrastructure. Lastly, Russia’s prison TB epidemic will be situated in a global health context to emphasize the burden tuberculosis causes on health infrastructure worldwide and how the spread of a multi-drug resistant strain is an ominous threat to the well-being of everyone, regardless of borders, oceans, or continents. The rise of Russia’s ‘prison problem’ The dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent political fallout led to enormous economic and social upheaval throughout the former Soviet Bloc. The transition to a market economy precipitated sudden drops in living standards and millions found themselves impoverished and unemployed (Goozner 2008: 1). Workplaces could no longer provide health and welfare services to employees and the public health system collapsed amid budgetary reductions (Holden 1999: 1670). The rate of tuberculosis infection, low since the extensive treatment and screening networks established by Joseph Stalin in his attempt to centralise and control all aspects of civilian life, began creeping upwards as living conditions worsened (Stern 2003: 180). 15 Fields - Winter 2013 - Thus while “rates of infection were increasing because of social problems, the efficiency of the TB control system was simultaneously reducing rapidly” (Stern 2003: 180). The deterioration of living conditions not only created favourable circumstances for TB transmission, it also led the destitute to seek alternative livelihoods fraught with petty crime, including fraud and theft. The number of arrests tripled between 1988 and 1995, causing Russia’s prisons to swell with the influx of convicts—often young males with non-violent pasts—and penitentiaries soon found themselves overcrowded and underfunded (Stern 2003: 183). Prisoners were reported to be sleeping in shifts, dying by asphyxiation, and at times allotted, only sixty square centimetres of living space (Stern 2003: 183). The high imprisonment rate, second only to the United States, produced massive overcrowding which generated appalling prison conditions primed for the incubation of a plague (Stern 2003: 183). Admitting to the deplorable conditions but unable to alleviate them, administrators of Russia’s penitentiary system have publicly conceded that their current prison system acts as an ‘epidemiological pump’ pouring out roughly 10,000 prisoners a year infected with active TB into households and cities across Russia and beyond (Holden 1999: 1670). The Russian prison problem thus poses an immense risk for global health as cases of multi-drug resistant TB are born, bred, and increasingly identified amongst Russia’s sickest convicts. The tuberculosis epidemic: Outbreak and aftermath By the mid 1990s, rates of tuberculosis surged in Russia’s prisons. By 1998 it was estimated that one in every ten (approximately 110,000) prisoners suffered from active TB, 20,000 of which had acquired multi-drug resistant tuberculosis or MDR-TB (Stern 2003: 179, 184-5). MDR-TB is a tuberculosis strain insusceptible to the antibiotics isoniazid and rifampin—the drug cocktail considered the backbone of most TB treatment regimens (Keshavjee et al. 2008: 1403). The Russian penitentiary system was thus becoming a breeding ground for dangerous and less treatable TB strains, a worrying predicament due to TB’s highly contagious nature. Multiple factors contributed to the dismal prison conditions which allowed for the dissemination of tuberculosis strains. These included overcrowding, poor ventilation, late detection of cases and a lack of proper or consistent treatment including quarantine protocols among the infected (Stern 2003: 185). Compounded by the physical and psychological stress of imprisonment and poor nutrition, many convicts were susceptible to infection (Stern 2003: 185). Tuberculosis quickly became the leading cause of mortality in Russian prisons, accounting for 80% of deaths annually, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (Farmer 2003: 119). Characterized by a high prisoner turnover rate, Russian prisons are not only incubators of hardy TB strains but also act as amplifiers by increasing the magnitude of transmission across the country and the globe as prisoners with untreated TB are released (Holden 1999: 1670). In fact, it is believed that New York City’s brief MDR-TB epidemic in the 1990s was a direct result of the Russian prison’s amplification and spread of resistant TB strains (Farmer 2003: 120). Thus, as doctor and medical anthropologist Paul Farmer notes, An epidemiological catastrophe has come to pass inside Russia’s prisons and in many others throughout the former Soviet Union: ineffective treatment regimens have produced drug-resistant disease, and since only the susceptible strains are being treated effectively, the proportion of drug resistant cases continue to grow. (2003: 119) 16 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - The deterioration of social conditions following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the subsequent demise of a reliable health infrastructure contributed to the dilapidated prison conditions plaguing Russia today. “Better habitats for epidemics of airborne disease could hardly be found than those provided by Russia’s overcrowded prisons” and, as a result, the proliferation of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis strains have put pressure on an already weak national health system (Farmer 2003: 121). In an attempt to impede prison transmission of TB, prisoners with active TB symptoms are routinely transferred to one of sixty Soviet-era tuberculosis colonies specialized in isolating and treating infected convicts (Holden 1999: 1670). While isolating infected individuals is an important step in preventing transmission, this process is sabotaged by current structural problems in the Russian criminal justice system which have produced severe delays in the sentencing of criminals. Pre-trial prisons have thus become overcrowded holding centres for prisoners awaiting sentencing and major epicentres for the transmission and amplification of TB (Stern 2003: 182). Unconvicted prisoners cannot legally be transferred to TB prison colonies so instead, they are left to wait (illegally) months or even years for sentencing in pretrial prisons where TB cases abound. Thus the masses of young male prisoners arrested for non-violent crimes are infected by TB strains well before ‘official’ punishment ensues or available treatment becomes accessible, raising questions over the rights of prisoners, a topic which will be addressed later in this paper. While poor prison conditions have compromised the health of inmates, disorganised and inconsistent treatment regimens have engendered dangerous, less easily treatable strains of tuberculosis, including MDR-TB. Drug resistant forms of tuberculosis occur through one of two ways: primary drug resistance via direct transmission of a resistant strain, or by secondary drug resistance where the infected host acquires resistance due to ineffective or inadequate treatment (Migliori et al. 2010: 172). Both scenarios are rampant in Russia’s prisons and TB colonies, where drug shortages are common and lead to erratic treatment and improper doses. “Haphazard therapy is one of the best ways of inducing the tubercle bacillus to acquire drug resistance” an especially problematic practice considering MDR-TB cases require consistent treatment for at least two years—as opposed to six to nine months in drug susceptible cases—if the patient is to be cured (Farmer 2003: 117-8). An additional factor contributing to the rise of MDR-TB in Russia is that many prisoners complete their sentence before they complete their treatment regimen, causing ailing inmates to be released with little hope of resuming treatment outside the prison system (Farmer 2003: 125). Consequently, Russia’s ‘epidemiological pump’ is unleashing thousands of former prisoners suffering from drug-resistant strains into the civilian population—effectively increasing rates of infection throughout the country (Holden 1999: 1670). The administrative regions, or oblasts, of Ivanovo and Tomsk in Russia have become notable hot-spots for MDR-TB, catching the eye of international aid organisations hoping to reduce MDR-TB transmission (Espinal 2003: 44,46). The rising tuberculosis epidemic in the 1990s garnered the attention of several international health organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). These organisations pressured Russia’s depleted health system to adopt a new approach to TB therapy known as DOTS, or directly observed treatment, short course (Stern 2003: 181,184; Keshavjee et al. 2008: 1403). The DOTS treatment strategy was implemented in the most heavily affected oblasts including Tomsk in Western Siberia and was characterized 17 Fields - Winter 2013 - by short, rapid courses of chemotherapy given under direct observation of a health professional (Goozner 2008: 1). The DOTS treatment plan differed greatly from traditional forms of TB therapy in Russia that included individualised treatment, patient isolation and often times the partial removal of an infected lung (Stern 2003: 181). By 2000, DOTS was implemented throughout the penal system and in Tomsk Oblast a publicprivate partnership was established between the non-governmental organisation, Partners in Health, and the Tomsk Penitentiary Services Tuberculosis Hospital (Keshavjee et al. 2008: 1404). Treatment expanded to encompass the infected civilian population shortly thereafter and all patients received nutritional support to help bolster their response to the chemotherapy which generally lasted about eighteen months (Keshavjee et al. 2008: 1405). Ongoing treatment of TB in Russia’s prisons, as seen in the example of Tomsk Oblast above, emphasises growing international interest in reducing TB infection and its pertinence to global health at large. The current epidemic in Russia’s prisons and TB hot-spots, however, is far from over. Due to pre-existing strains of MDR-TB, DOTS therapy, which includes the antibiotics isoniazid and rifampin, not only proved ineffective in many individuals with drug-resistant strains but likely contributed to exacerbating drug resistance (Keshavjee et al. 2008: 1404). XDR-TB, also known as extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, is now considered a increasingly notable subgroup of MDR-TB that is resistant to first-line drugs and the most effective second line drugs, thus proving nearly impossible to be treated, especially in an area where drug shortages and underfunding are commonplace (Keshavjee et al. 2008: 1403). Current treatment initiatives have led to a relative stabilisation in TB notification rates but trends towards drug resistance have increased drastically in the past five years (Migliori et al. 2010: 175). Attempts to rectify the situation include the DOTSPlus therapy system advocated by Partners In Health to treat individuals with MDR-TB and XDR-TB (Goozner 2008: 2). DOTSPlus involves aggressive and lengthy treatment using the less common (and more expensive) antibiotics capreomycin and cycloserine. Need for vast quantities of expensive and rare drugs translates into Russian dependency on outside aid sources, which so far have included the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (Goozner 2008: 2). Though DOTS-Plus is certainly a solution to combating drug-resistant TB strains, it is by no means a sustainable solution in Russia’s current social and economic climate. The expense and difficulty in attaining the necessary pharmaceuticals is a formidable barrier to its widespread adoption, especially in Russia’s prisons where only a fraction of the necessary funding for medical expenditures ever matriculates (Stern 2003: 185-6). Consequently, the current TB epidemic in Russia, most notably in its penitentiaries, continues to be a primary concern in global health today as the window of opportunity to treat drug-resistant TB before its spread accelerates, is slowly but most assuredly closing. Poverty, tuberculosis, and health inequality As evidenced in the above case study on Russia’s prison conditions, the economic turmoil Russia faced after the fall of the Soviet Bloc precipitated an increase in non-violent criminal activities as many citizens fell below the poverty line. Therefore prisons tended to pull inmates from already vulnerable, struggling populations who had little access to healthcare prior to incarceration and had previously been subject to overcrowded, disease-producing environments (Stern 2003: 179). As Vivien Stern emphasises, “Prison conditions deteriorated in parallel with conditions in outside society, and prison 18 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - populations were drawn largely from amongst the poor and the rootless” (2003: 181). The inequalities in health found between Russia’s prison population and its civilian population are thus products of inequalities deeply entrenched in the current social and economic system rather than simply by-products of contrasting situations. Russia’s prisons do not just contain individuals who have committed crimes, they contain individuals who are already marginalised in health and general wellbeing. Prison infrastructure intensifies preexisting social and health inequalities through poor management of disease, inaccessible or unreliable treatment regimens, and misguided notions of cost-effectiveness, which trump notions of equity (Farmer 2003: 245). Suffering from tuberculosis is inextricably linked to issues of poverty. This vicious cycle is poignantly illustrated by Blanc and Uplekar: Poor people are malnourished and live in crowded, unhygienic conditions, where TB flourishes; the poor receive inadequate health care in which TB is not diagnosed rapidly; treatment, if received at all, is often inconsistent or partial. Resultant ill health and death worsen poverty. (2003: 106) A series of ‘reciprocal causations’ occurs when TB decreases an individual’s capacity to work, thereby limiting productivity and leading to economic decline which likewise renders health care less accessible (Blanc & Uplekar 2003: 106). Perpetuation of this vicious cycle continues in Russia’s penal system where inequality is said to be ‘managed’ primarily by the notion of cost-effectiveness (Farmer 2003: 125). Cost-effectiveness allows for certain TB treatments to be validated and adopted while others are deemed too expensive to be feasible in the prison context. As a result, cost-effective measures have had severe ramifications in the amplification of multidrug resistant tuberculosis among Russian convicts where only cheaper treatments for drug-susceptible TB are available and MDR- TB tailored regimens are overlooked due to their high cost (anywhere between $4000 USD to $12,000 USD per patient per treatment duration is typical) (Goozner 2008: 2). By selectively providing resources and medicine for only certain TB strains, Russia’s Ministry of Justice manages (and thereby perpetuates) inequality amongst those incarcerated by deciding who will be treated effectively and who will be overlooked. This “double standard of therapy” illustrates Michael Marmot’s assertion that social factors are at the root of most inequalities in health and, in effect, are an issue of social justice (Farmer 2003: 195; Marmot 2005: 1099). The high cost of TB treatment, the social stigma associated with the disease (primarily due to the squalid conditions it commonly occurs in), and the long duration of treatment needed are all major barriers that prevent its alleviation and compound the health disparities experienced by vulnerable groups including the poor, the incarcerated, and the homeless (Blanc & Uplekar 2003: 106). For instance, how can outpatient treatment occur if the individual is homeless? How will a prisoner with MDR-TB benefit from treatment if he is resistant to the only drugs available? Health is partially ordained by the social determinants affecting an individual including economic or social status, ethnicity, social support, and (un)employment (Marmot 2005: 1102). For the prisoners in Russia’s jails, past histories of poor social status, unemployment, and addiction form a weak foundation upon which the prison health system builds— amplifying and intensifying poor health outcomes. Russia’s present health system must thus “examine the causes of causes” and explore how health inequalities—both those preceding incarceration and those constructed after—have played a role in perpetuating Russia’s TB epidemic among the marginalised and vulnerable (Marmot 2005: 1102). As Paul Farmer laments, however, “managing 19 Fields - Winter 2013 - inequality almost never includes higher standards of care for those whose agency has been constrained, whether by poverty or by prison bars” (2003: 129). Prisoner or patient? Living in the late 18th century, the English prison reformer John Howard argued that prison conditions must be improved not only because the squalid conditions were unethical within a “Christian framework,” but because it was a threat to public health and thus society at large (Stern 2003: 178-9). Howard’s argument continues to raise questions today as inhumane conditions in penitentiaries allow for the proliferation of a range of diseases which can rapidly spread throughout the population regardless of prison boundaries (Stern 2003: 179). The incarcerated have adopted new roles as ‘prisoner-patients’ who must negotiate their illness in a justice system where treatment has become increasingly unreliable and ineffective. Where do the rights of the government to administer power over a prisoner’s body end and the prisoner’s rights as a patient in need of treatment begin? Many Russian prisoner-patients die due to lack of treatment, yet others die because the treatment they receive is wrong (Farmer 2003: 187). The crowded pre-trial holding centres found throughout Russia act as disease reservoirs where “a death sentence stalks people who have not yet been convicted of a crime” (Farmer 2003: 187). Improper or nonexistent treatment for TB afflicted prisoners has led to a new form of “laissez-faire penal torture, a re-embodiment of discipline” where contracting TB is part of the punishment (Farmer 2003: 194). Imprisonment in Russia and risk of disease are inclusive, furthering the health disparity between Russia’s poor and incarcerated and those who can afford treatment. Punishment through illness emphasizes the necessity of addressing what rights a prisoner has and what responsibilities a government undertakes when it incarcerates its people regardless of the type of crime committed. Surely “curing the prisoners before their release is the best way to respect their rights and also the best way to prevent further transmission to prison staff and to the civilian population” (Farmer 2003: 121). This subject will be further addressed in the following section. Contraction of TB as a form of punishment in Russia’s prisons raises questions over the differential valuation of human life. In the words of social anthropologist Didier Fassin, “no inequality is more disturbing than that by which we decide...who can still interest us and who no longer does” (Kienzler 2012, slide 9). For criminals in Russia’s penitentiaries, their bodies are valued differently than those of civilians. Tuberculosis treatment in Russia’s prisons is marred by high costs and ineffective therapy as evidenced when treatment for MDR-TB is knowingly administered regardless of if the patient is resistant to the prescribed drugs. As a result, the term “untreatable forms of TB” has become a euphemism used by Russian prison doctors for “too expensive to treat” (Farmer 2003: 214). There is a certain reluctance to treat prisoners when civilians with TB or MDR-TB are not treated due to a weak health system and a shortage of medical resources (Farmer 2003: 129). Higher health care standards within prisons is unthinkable for many, who see the lives and bodies of criminals as undeserving of treatment especially when law-abiding citizens are also suffering from tuberculosis. Siphoned off from the civilian sector, Russia’s TB prisoner-patients are not only punished through disease contraction, they are viewed as undeserving of treatment. Their rights as patients are trumped by the justice system, an ironic twist considering the public health threat civilians face when untreated prisoners are released. Prisons tend to draw from populations already left vulnerable and 20 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - marginalised by poverty (Stern 2003: 179). Therefore the mistreatment of sick prisoners not only raises questions over what rights a prisoner maintains during incarceration, but how Russia’s prisons continue to manage and perpetuate health inequalities that appear to be structurally embedded in the justice system. By perpetuating the differential valuation of human life in Russia’s prisons, the justice system has produced a certain biomarker that not only separates prisoners from civilians, but sick prisoners with TB from healthy (or at least healthier) prisoners. Tuberculosis, especially the MDR-TB strain, is a physical marker that demarcates infected prisoners from those who are not, paving the way for new forms of solidarity. Medical doctor and anthropologist Vinh-Kim Nguyen describes this solidarity through the term “biosociality” which suggests “the possibility that a shared biological condition may foster new forms of belonging, however fragile” (Nguyen 2010: 178). Relating through a shared condition such as tuberculosis, which is highly contagious, can “confer on individuals specific rights (health, in this case) as well as responsibilities (such as not infecting others)” (2010: 186). Nguyen calls this ‘therapeutic citizenship’ (2010: 186). Prisoners suffering from TB are demarcated by their placement in TB prison colonies and, while they are technically guaranteed the right to treatment, it often involves incorrect prescriptions (Farmer 2003: 216). While the biosociality of Russian TB prisoner-patients is justified in some respects, their unique situation of incarceration relegates some of their rights as therapeutic citizens to the justice system. A prisoner’s ability to negotiate his treatment and disease transmission is restricted. Nevertheless, Nguyen’s terminology, originally employed to describe AIDS patients in Sub-Saharan Africa, is applicable to Russian TB convicts who face unique challenges as both prisoners and patients. Biopower and structural violence in the Russian health system How treatment is managed and mismanaged in Russia’s penitentiaries depends on the power the justice system has over its prisoners. This power has the capacity “to foster life or disallow it to the point of death” through its access to the body (Taylor 2011: 43). Philosopher and social theorist Michel Foucault coined the term ‘biopower’ to describe the increasing phenomena of modern European states to “discipline, regulate, and monitor bodily conduct” at both the scale of the individual body and the larger, more complex, social body (Nguyen 2010: 112). Urban sanitation, public health initiatives, and the conducting of detailed censuses are all examples of how biopower is embedded in state administration (Nguyen 2010: 112). Prisons assert biopower over individual bodies as they deviate from norms (disciplinary power) but they also play an extensive role in regulating the norms the population abides by (biopolitical power) (Taylor 2011: 44-46). Thus, the current health situation in Russia’s prisons reflects how the differential valuation of human life and the subsequent disparity in available health care are intimately related to the assertion of biopower. Biopower in Russia’s prison system is best illustrated through the notion that the “body is both an instrument of power and the site of struggles over power” (McGuire 2003: 106). For prisoners suffering from TB, their illness is simultaneously a manifestation of the dehumanising conditions in which they live and a vehicle in which to express how the current political and economic situation has helped produce the poor treatment outcomes which characterise tuberculosis experiences in Russia’s penal system. “Biopower is power over bios or life” and for prisoners suffering from TB, how the government responds to the current TB epidemic reflects how their bodies are valued by that same government (Taylor 2011: 44). An example of this is the 21 Fields - Winter 2013 - practice of installing heavy metal shutters on the outside of prison cell windows in pre-trial detention centres in order to prevent unlawful collusion (Stern 2003: 189). These shutters, however, also prevent access to fresh air and deter proper ventilation, thereby decreasing air quality and increasing the risk of airborne transmission of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis. Here, the power of law trumps the power of prison doctors and preventing collusion proves to be “more important than preventing a deadly infection” (Stern 2003: 189). The value of prisoner health is largely dictated by political and social forces as seen above, and Foucault’s notion of biopower serves to illustrate this. Alongside biopolitical influences on the lives and health of prisoners, “the structural constraint of working within underfunded prison systems” has played a large role in intensifying and perpetuating the health disparities found within both the prison population and those suffering from poverty (Farmer 2003: 182). Paul Farmer employs the term ‘structural violence’ to describe the process whereby existing social structures or institutions prevent individuals from either meeting their basic needs or from maintaining their dignity (Farmer 2003: 8-9). The poor prison conditions, drug shortages, and inaccessible or ineffective TB treatments are largely due to the structural violence embedded in Russia’s collapsing public health system and disjointed Ministries of Justice and Health (Farmer 2003: 186-9). Pre-existing social and health inequalities among convicted prisoners are intensified through the mismanagement of health and well-being by the justice system when prisoners are incarcerated (Farmer 2003: 190). Upon release, prisoners are not necessarily freed from the constraints of surrounding social structures. For example, prisoners are subjected to structural violence when their TB treatment is suspended upon release from prison regardless of their TB status because drugs, if available outside of prison, are often too expensive for continued treatment to occur (Farmer 2003: 189). This increases the resistance of an individual’s TB and the likelihood of either relapse or transmission to others including family members (Farmer 2003: 189). Forms of structural violence occur in complex social fields and, in the case of tuberculosis epidemics in Russia’s prisons, individuals are at constant odds with the health and justice system that, ideally, is supposed to protect them from undue risk. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family” (Farmer 2003: 135). “The vital disappearance of social services and a disregard for human dignity” in Russia, however, has demonstrated how human, social, and economic right violations have perpetuated health inequity (Farmer 2003: 190). As former Deputy Minister Yuri Kalinin admits, “It makes no sense for anyone concerned with justice to see young men arrested for minor crimes condemned to die of tuberculosis” and yet tuberculosis has become entrenched in the very experience of punishment in Russian prisons today (Farmer 2003: 190). If “governments have a duty to protect from harm and disease those whose liberty they have taken away” then the violations to the human right to health in Russia’s penal system must be addressed (Stern 2003: 191). Currently, Russia faces immense health inequalities both among prisoners and civilians and those in poverty to those who can afford private health care. These health inequalities are unlikely to be extinguished unless health considerations are integrated into broader issues of social justice (Sen 2002: 665). For Russia, this means strengthening the health system and its economic and social infrastructure, both of which have nearly disintegrated since the collapse of the Soviet Union. 22 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Conclusion The anthropologist Rudolph Virchow once remarked, “All diseases have two causes one pathological, the other political” (Kienzler 2012, slide 18). The proliferation of tuberculosis in Russia’s Post-Soviet penitentiaries is not dependent on poor prison conditions alone, rather the spread of TB runs deeper, entrenched in Russia’s weakened infrastructure, poor economy, and the poverty that affects millions of its inhabitants. This paper has explored Russia’s struggle with emerging TB strains in its penal system and analysed how poverty and social inequalities affect susceptibility to infection while the role of biopower and structural violence sustain and perpetuate health disparities. Tuberculosis has been re-situated as an embodiment of discipline and thus part of the punishment prisoners encounter. Though this paper addresses the dehumanising and inhumane conditions found in Russia’s jails, and therefore its human rights violations, it is not meant to be partial towards or sympathetic of criminals and the crimes they have committed. Rather, it looks to address the pertinent issue of prisoner’s rights and the responsibilities of the justice system to protect the incarcerated from undue risk of harm and disease. In regards to the type of crime committed, one must look towards the causes of the causes to reveal how social conditions precipitate criminal activity. The emergence of multi-drug resistant TB is a worrying issue not only within the Russian penal system but within health systems globally. As Tine Demeulenare of MSF remarks, “The TB epidemic in Russian prisons is not just a far-away humanitarian disaster. It is a threat to us all since the infection does not stop at fences and borders” (Stern 2003: 185). TB is on the rise globally and MDR-TB is a major threat to global health due to the high cost of treatment and the unavailability or inaccessibility of viable drugs (Benatar 2003: 222). No new drug treatment for TB has been introduced in over forty years and drugs currently available are of decreasing efficacy as resistance among TB strains grows (Migliori et al. 2010: 178). Tuberculosis, with its ease of transmission is not readily contained and an epidemic of drug-resistant strains will have disastrous consequences. It is therefore essential that Russia’s penal system undergo extensive reforms alongside TB treatment upgrades if the spread of MDR-TB is to be stifled (Stern 2003: 190). The fall of the Soviet Bloc and the structural adjustments that ensued allowed the transmission of TB to flourish in Russia’s prisons. Other infectious diseases however, lurk within the prison walls and though not addressed here, must not be ignored due to their significance in shaping the experience of prisoners. Further research into how prisoners negotiate their identity within a system where disease is re-figured as punishment will shed greater anthropological light on the prison experience and will benefit prison reform initiatives where human rights is a burgeoning issue. The social and health inequalities currently in existence within Russia’s prisons must be addressed if the struggles of poverty and tuberculosis are no longer to be transformed into one’s crime and one’s punishment. References Benatar, Solomon 2003 Global Poverty and Tuberculosis: Implications for Ethics and Human Rights. In The Return of the White Plague: Global Poverty and the ‘New’ Tuberculosis. Matthew Gandy and Alimuddin Zumla, eds. Pp. 222-236. London: Verso. Blanc, Léopold, and Mukund Uplekar 2003 The Present Global Burden of Tuberculosis. In The Return of the White Plague: Global Poverty and the ‘New’ Tuberculosis. Matthew Gandy and Alimuddin Zumla, eds. Pp. 95-111. London: Verso. Espinal, Marcos A. 23 Fields - Winter 2013 - 2003 The Global Situation of MDR-TB. Tuberculosis 83: 44-51. Farmer, Paul 2003 Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor. Berkeley: University of California Press. Goozner, Merrill 2008 Prisons in Post-Soviet Russia Incubate a Plague. Scientific American. Holden, Constance 1999 Stalking a Killer in Russia’s Prisons. Science 286 (5445): 1670. Keshavjee, Salmaan, et al. 2008 Treatment of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in Tomsk, Russia: a retrospective cohort study. The Lancet 372: 1403-1409. Kienzler, Hanna 2012 Inequalities in Health Between and Within Countries: Poverty and Inequality. Class lecture in Anth 481: Anthropology and Global Health. McGill University, Montreal, Canada. 25 January 2012. Marmot, Michael 2005 Social Determinants of Health Inequalities. The Lancet 365 (9464): 1099-1104. McGuire, Meredith 1996 Religion and Healing the Mind/Body/Self. Social Compass 43(1): 101-116. Migliori, Giovanni B., et al. 2010 Emerging epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe, Russia, China, South America and Asia: Current status and global perspectives. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine 16: 171-179. Nguyen, Vinh-Kim 2010 The Republic of Therapy: Triage and Sovereignty in West Africa’s Time of AIDS. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Sen, Amartya 2002 Why Health Equity? Health Economics, 11(8): 659-666. Stern, Vivien 2003 The House of the Dead Revisited: Prisons, Tuberculosis and Public Health in the Former Soviet Bloc. In The Return of the White Plague: Global Poverty and the ‘New’ Tuberculosis. Matthew Gandy and Alimuddin Zumla, eds. Pp. 176-191. London: Verso. Taylor, Chloë 2011 Biopower. In Michel Foucault: Key Concepts. Dianna Taylor, ed. Pp. 41-54. Durham, NC: Acumen. 24 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s Dialogues with a hyperlinguistic activist Mercedes Sharpe Zayas I When William Burton was young, he was assigned to speech therapy. “I suppose it was as David Sedaris describes in one of his books: they had figured me out, and wanted to stamp the queer out ASAP.”1 After a sharp chuckle, he cast his jokes aside, admitting that his qualms with his lisp marked his primary experience of linguistic alienation, an estrangement that drove him to hours of learning about phonetics and pinching his tongue to make the right sound. This was further exacerbated by the speech patterns of his working-class family in Medfield, Massachusetts, whose accents and lack of “politeness” ran rampant. As he sat with poise in front of me, he eloquently recalled of a time when he used to struggle with vocabulary, inspired by his parent’s logic that any word was good enough. His linguistic battle came into fruition at an early age, as his morally and politically conscious mind took hold. “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t think of myself as a feminist, even if I didn’t know that word,” he recalls. Memories from his childhood flooded into my living room, as he pieced together the ‘firsts’ of his political consciousness. His first exposure to radical political thought followed an in-class mock trial of Andrew Jackson in the seventh grade.2 After losing his case for arguing that the deportation of the “five civilized tribes” in Southeastern United States was an attempt at genocide, his teacher pulled him aside and passed him a book called Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen (1995), a text that undermined everything she taught in class. Though he could recall this moment of external influence, he could not place his finger on what had prompted him to plea his case in the first place. “The Speech and the political self - point of these stories,” he offered, “is that I can remember identifying as something, but not why, or how, I got there.” As he aged, Burton felt “dislocated” from America – a nation that loathed queer culture – and disarticulated from English – a language that reinforced a colonial history. The “stifling anti-intellectualism of the United States… which was only increasing as I came of age, post-9/11,” pushed him to leave, while his linguistic hyperconsciousness and his interest in French drew him to Quebec. But when he arrived in Montreal to attend McGill University, he admitted to feeling quite alienated by radical politics. The all-encompassing systematic critiques made by the McGill Left was a form of political criticism that he had never encountered in high school, where his political thoughts were often kept to himself. During these early collegiate years, he entered more of an aesthetic stage, developing an interest in literature as an art form. This was not a refusal of politics, as he was quick to remind me, but rather – he hesitated for a moment, grasping for words, his second tongue finally settling in – “the word in French is repli, so sort of a folding in. Withdrawal… from any sort of external politics.” Eventually he became more open to “different forms of left in politics,” and began to express his radical political ideologies through various campus outlets. Burton’s inherent interest in Quebec literature drove him to pursue a Master’s degree in the Department of English Literature at Université de Montréal. His thesis touches on the relationship between sexuality in the family and the Quebecois nation, using the trope that French Canadians are an orphan people, cut off from their national paternal 25 Fields - Winter 2013 - figure, the métropole, through the process of colonization. In the same sense that he felt orphaned from America, he became explicitly aware of his own experience of québecité. As an American and an Anglophone, he hesitated to call himself a Quebecker, aware of the inherent divides between these identity positions. However, the autochthonous attempts to fracture the meaning of the word such that it can encompass any number of subject positions within the province paved the way for queer, immigrant, and indigenous people to reconsider their Quebecker identity. “For me, then, Quebec is defined, more than by anything else, by its conflicts, by its perpetually-put-into-question status. The student movement threw this into stark relief for me, laying bare the heterogeneity of this society, exposing – at last – the conflicts that structure the politics and art of Quebec.” A patchwork of red felt squares flooded the streets of Montreal during the spring of 2012, as students mobilized to counter the seventy-five percent tuition hikes proposed by the Liberal provincial government in the spring of 2011. Le Printemps érable shuttered many of the province’s universities through prolonged student strikes and paralyzed several businesses of the downtown core. It was heralded by the chants of historical rallies and the call of les casseroles, when Montrealers would emerge on their balconies and bang pots and pans in solidarity. Burton and I became companions through the student marches, yet when he began to outline his involvement in the movement, his answers became very mechanical, as though reading through a CV of his radical work experience. It was not until I reintroduced the topic of memories that his demeanor took a significant shift, as if he was lost for words. “To be honest I have relatively few… they sort of all bleed together.” A pause gave way to a moment of recollection, as he shifted his weight in his chair and began his narrative. Shortly after the passage of the nowdefunct Bill 78, he attended a night march with some French-speaking friends and acquaintances. “My motivation was simple: I needed to express my outrage at this law; I needed to do so surrounded by other bodies equally angered. And I needed to do so in French.” As the police began to intensify repressive tactics, he told the people that he was with: “’Listen, I’m not a citizen here so I have to leave.” This was met by the condescending response: “Well, thank you for supporting us.’” His frustration was palpable – the aggravation of this memory compromising not only his struggle with Quebecker identity, but also his commitment to the demonstration. As he was leaving the march, he received a phone call from one of his friends. She was crying on the other end of the line, having suffered from a heavy dose of pepper spray. He ran back through a line of horse-mounted police officers and found her, rallying her to an alleyway where they sat down in anger and smoked a cigarette. “It was sort of a big moment for me,” he admitted, “because the most natural reaction I had was to swear in Quebec French – which is something I do a lot, but in moments of crisis, one normally reverts to one’s first language – in any case, it felt like a sort of consolidation of identity, or a facet of my identity.” Although it was clear throughout our two interviews that his sense of québecité was an unstable identity category, much like his queer identity, he rejoiced that he could participate in the mass movement while holding onto his own personal definition of what it meant to be a Quebecker. “Whereas before, when Quebecker friends and colleagues asked me if I felt like I myself was Québécois, I demurred for political reasons – American, I am necessarily an agent of imperialism; Englishspeaking, I benefit from an array of colonial privileges – now, I felt I could affirm, albeit still problematically, that Quebec is my home.” 26 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - II William Burton’s life stories piece together several moments of self-declaration – declaring himself as a feminist, declaring himself as a radical, declaring himself as queer, declaring himself as a Quebecker. These moments of declaration are what Judith Butler (1997:22) would term “performative acts” of the self. She is careful to note, however, that these inaugurative speech acts must not be conflated with unique conduct of the self, for the representation of an identity category is not necessarily the same as conduct (Ibid). As will be discussed, one of the largest threats against the discursive operation of identity politics is the intervention of neoliberal state power, with its propensity to collapse the distinction between representation and conduct into a governable identity category. Butler (1997:2) argues that, as linguistic beings, we are constructed through language. Referring to Althusser’s notion of “interpellation”, Butler (1997:2) states that, “being called a name is one of the conditions by which a subject is constituted in language.” Yet as exemplified time and time again in Burton’s narrative, his sense of political subjectivity often preceded its naming. This plays into the temporal aspect of the destabilized self, in which he first developed his subjectivity through his reaction to asymmetrical power relations – for example, being exposed to cases of misogyny in his mother’s workplace and recognizing it as “wrong”– followed by the moment when he was introduced to an external factor that, on some scale, related to his conception of the self – in this case, being introduced to the word “feminist” and declaring it as an identity category. This falls into a Foucauldian analysis of his subjectivity, recognizing that the subject is not pre-determined; rather relations of power, including the power of language, make the subject. In the case of his queer and Quebecker identities, the social existence of his subjectivity was initiated into a temporal life of language, therefore the effect of the performative utterance was perlocutionary, or delayed (Butler 1997:6). Although he had been exposed to each of the terms at some point in his life, he felt a sense of rupture between the identity category and his self, allowing for the effects of the terms to shape his performative actions as he aged. From his youngest age, Burton saw the subject position of a working class male as oppositional to his experienced subject position as a homosexual, thereby leading him to perform rigorous linguistic exercises to reconstitute his gender performativity. Similarly, for political reasons, he saw the subject position of an AngloAmerican as oppositional to his strong sense of québecité, therefore he spoke the French language without its affective agency. What allowed him to finally breakdown these categorical boundaries was his recognition of queerness and québecité as unstable identity categories, maintained by the differentiation between a subject position and the conduct that it constitutes. Butler (1997:14) recognizes the discursive performativity of the term “queer” as “a ritual chain of resignifications whose origin and end remain unfixed,” thereby negating any possibilities for normative action. Eventually, this negation allowed for him to come to terms with his queer identity and develop his own personal definition of a Quebecker. In The Coming Community, Giorgio Agamben (1993:82-3) posits that the “era in which we live is also that in which for the first time it is possible for humans to experience their own linguistic being.” In other words, we can be aware of the linguistic construction of our own subjectivity. This statement rings true in Burton’s memory of the student movement, the moment of outburst when he swore abundantly in French, his second language, commemorating an intensification of his attachment to Quebec. At this 27 Fields - Winter 2013 - moment, language was used as an outlet for the “emotional responses provoked by and through organizing and action” (Sitrin 2012:1). The affect attributed to the French language in his moment of rage marked, for Burton, the formative power of language to bring about subjectivity. Upon his automatic and charged swearing, he recognized the consolidation of a “ new” facet of his identity. “Language is, after all, ‘thought of,’ that is, posited or constituted as ‘agency,’” Butler (1997:7) writes, “yet it is as agency that it is thought.” Therefore, the agency of language is both the formulation of thought and the action, which allowed for Burton to access his Quebecker identity and his role in the student movement, despite his civic status. This is why he was so angered in retrospect by the simple statement: “Thank you for supporting us.” It disqualified him from a direct attachment to the conflict, “as though the lack of citizenship papers signaled a lack of political investment in Quebec’s future,” and unwittingly excluded him from any non-trivial political engagement by assigning him to the category a nonQuebecker standing in solidarity. Over the course of the two interviews, Burton and I encountered several theoretical oppositions regarding the literature on the relationship between the body and the “political self ”. One of his main involvements with the student movement was the ritual exercise of the body in demonstrations, attending marches four to five times a week. In his descriptions of the marches, he would emphasize his ideological reasoning for being present – fighting for working class students, opposing himself to the state and the state apparatus – yet he was very dismissive of his own physical presence, and his interaction with bodies around him. He contested the view, posited by Arendt (1998) and Butler (2005), that the space of appearance for political action rose between bodies, because each of the bodies represent their own political subjectivities, expressing no common ideology. Rather than recognize his body as a “medium of… political participation” (Meloni & Tlili 2012:2), he would emphasize his agoraphobic tendencies and the banality of his corporeal experiences. This schism between his own thoughts and theories and his body made me question whether or not I should problematize his notion of the body. The body might “speak politically” in a way that he denies (Butler 2005:100). As an anthropologist, do I have the agency to undermine what he stated as his stance to fit him into the mould of these theories? This exercise struck me as problematic, particularly when conversing with a subject who is as, if not more, versed in these theories as I am, with a clear sense of how they apply to his own identity. In our interviews, Burton was hesitant to reify the various facets of his identity, cautioning that this way of thinking is a neoliberal precept. Developing from the thoughts of Agamben (1993), Burton described the production of various identity positions as a fracturing of subjectivity. “Any individual can be any number of identity positions,” he explained, “and the practical effect that some people see in this is a division of possible solidarities.” This movement from totalizing conflicts to small, localized conflicts under the neoliberal schema is described in Wendy Brown’s book States of Injury (1995). She argues that identity positions are created by the state, as a ruse of neoliberalism that seeks to undermine the foundations of “real” political action: “The tension between particularist “I’s” and a universal “we” in liberalism is sustainable as long as the constituent terms of the “I” remain unpoliticized” (Brown 1995:56). This individuating and depoliticizing process of the neoliberal subject therefore robs identity positions of their logical argumentative force and reduces them to “rational actors” 28 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - with market sensibilities (Brown 2005:40). This is why Burton was so intrigued by the heterogeneity of the student movement. His words echoed a skype conversation with political anthropologist Marouane Tlili, reverberating that the time of ideology is gone, and that we are no longer united by a single goal but rather a multiplicity of goals from people who wish to subvert the neoliberal order as politicized actors. Burton described Quebec as a “confluence of conflicts”: “it is an agonizing awareness of language, a certain geography coupled with uncertain borders, it is a set of divided loyalties and unresolved problems continually reconfigured out of the cracks of which can emerge temporarily habitable identities.” Within this geopolitical context, Burton has formed his complex matrix of selves, constituted by unstable identity categories, which help ground his political arguments with a force that cannot be fractured. Not only was this dynamism of the self evident in his narratives, but also in his process of retelling them. Linguistically, he would still struggle to find the right word, yet with time he would manage to find them, in French. Notes 1. The following excerpts were taken over the course of several interviews and a follow-up article written by the interviewee, entitled ‘Discordia Salus’ in Petite Mort Magazine (2012). 2. Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). The most controversial aspect of Jackson’s presidency was the forced relocation and resettlement of Native American tribes from the Southeast to west of the Mississippi River. References Agamben, Giorgio 1993 The Coming Community. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Arendt, Hannah 1958 The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Brown, Wendy 1995 States of Injury. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2005 Neoliberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy. In Edgework: Critical Essays on Knowledge and Politics. Pp. 37-59. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Burton, William 2012 Discordia Salus. Petite Mort Magazine. http://www.petitemort.ca/2012/11/16/discordiasalus/, accessed November 16, 2012. Butler, Judith 1997 Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. 2011 Bodies In Alliance and the Politics of the Street. Presented in Venice, Italy on September 7, 2011. Office for Contemporary Art Norway. http://eipcp.net/transversal/1011/butler/en, accessed November 16, 2012. Meloni, Francesca, and Marouane Tlili 2012 The Re-creation of the Self in Political Revolutions in Italy and Tunisia. Body Self Politics. http://bodyselfpolitics.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/ the-re-creation-of-theself-in-political-revolutions-in-italy-and-tunisia/, accessed November 16, 2012. Sitrin, Marina 2012 Occupy trust: The Role of Emotion in the New Movements. In Hot Spots – Occupy, Anthropology, and the 2011 Global Uprisings. Cultural Anthropology. http://www.culanth. org/?q=node/652, accessed November 16, 2012. 29 Fields - Food, abundance, and politics of indistinction in a foraging household Sheina Lew-Levy Paths of least resistance Winter 2013 - You turn right onto the gravel road, and slink down the driveway until you arrive at the culde-sac where you belong. When you exit the car, you are hit by the smell of tall cedars, and a mad array of objects strewn across the area of a property that is usually considered a lawn. Instead, you find a large jungle gym, a forge, a fire pit, and, if you turn down a little path on the property, a flint knapping pit, where shoes are necessary if you prefer to avoid microscopic shards of glass in your feet. On the porch, you must jump over tools, cedar logs, and milk crates full of vegetables that, once someone else’s garbage, now serve as your food. You open the door and arrive in a warm room, fireplace burning, raccoon skin strung up on a frame to dry. Lucas is scraping wood off a hand-made bow he has been working on for weeks, ever since the last one broke. On the wall hangs a beet-juice print of the last salmon Lucas caught, just a few days ago – a shadow of a creature that was once alive, now resuscitated in the strong smell of its bones being boiled into stock on the stove. When Amira, our four-year-old neighbor, stops by, she pinches her nose in anticipation. Your household includes a cast of characters. I mean that literally. Charlie, who you think of affectionately as Shrek, an ogre in demeanor but soft at heart, sits half naked in his room full of skulls, cuing up the next movie you plan on watching that evening. Alex has Amira help him build his bow by encouraging her to draw lines where he needs to cut down pieces of wood. And Mark, Amira’s father, though not technically living within the house, will be sharing a cup of coffee with you at six in the morning and telling you bed-time busting stories before you go to sleep. This is the nature of your household if you are me. This essay serves as a micro-ethnography of a household. The individuals who live here exist within a wider community which, to varying degrees, partakes in the types of activities described below.1 They are brought together by a survival school called Wilderness Awareness School near Seattle, WA, and many continue to live within the vicinity of the school after the program ends. My household chooses to engage in primary subsistence, spending much of its time producing its own food through dumpster-diving, picking up road-kill for meat, working or volunteering on organic farms, raising chickens, ducks, and rabbits, and, most importantly for the scope of this paper, hunting, fishing, and foraging. In doing so, they come to share physical and social space with the animals with which they interact. The realm of the household becomes expanded into the forest, where tracking and hunting takes place, and the realm of the forest becomes expanded into the household, where animals are processed, eaten, and re-purposed for tools and crafts. In this paper, I will be using interviews conducted with my friends as a basis for better understanding how and why we choose to interact with our food in such a direct, unmediated way. Unlike most anthropologists, who run the risk of ‘going native,’ I am instead choosing to ‘go anthropologist’ by stepping out of my role as a member of my household and thinking about something which, as Lucas said, “I don’t really think about a whole lot.” I will do so by first explaining the ways in which we come to think with the forest through the 30 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Lucas builds a bow practice of tracking and hunting, which leads to a better understanding of the lives of the animals we choose to eat. Secondly, in order to question what it means to be humane, I will elaborate on how this lifestyle and its politics of indistinction become crucial in subverting the ways in which humans are expected to behave. Lastly, I will explain the ways in which these interactions have changed how my friends conceptualize their world, from a world of scarcity to a world of abundance and belonging. Welcome! My friends spend a lot of their time wandering in the forest. To say they wander aimlessly is to underestimate the importance of wandering in the creation of an ecological self, a self embedded in rich webs of existence that we experience amongst the crowded sword ferns and rotten salmon carcasses on the banks of our stream. To wander without aim, without thought, allows my friends (and me) to explore the forest in a timeless manner, a manner that funnels us into the natural pathways already present on our landscape. But this type of non-thinking does not often emerge independently and naturally as if sinking into a dream. It requires a certain amount of focus, and, in the case of hunting, this focus is directed towards the tracks and signs abandoned by these other beings who share our landscape. 31 Fields - Winter 2013 - Charlie: I’m thinking, thinking, thinking, and eventually, I’ll fall into this rhythm where that all kind of goes away, and it’s just happening. It’s not really like my brain is thinking anymore, it’s like I’m doing it. And it becomes much easier. Alex: Not just your brain and your eyes but use other things. You move. You get a flow going, a rhythm. Lucas: I saw a bunch of salmon, but when I saw this one it just seemed right and I just stopped thinking. I just went up and shot it and everything went perfectly. I find this when I go dumpster diving a lot, too. When we do really well dumpster diving there’s like a flow. I guess anytime anything is going well in life there’s like a certain flow you can kind of step into and relax into and then things just work… In tracking and trailing an animal, and coming to share their behavior, eating what they eat, walking where they walk, and, to a certain degree, thinking what they think by not thinking at all, by becoming, as Lucas said, “an instrument of the landscape,” my friends are also recognizing these animals as selves; selves that can recognize them back, though to what degree, we will never know (Haraway 2009; Kohn n.d.). This is especially true for Mark, who describes an experience in New Zealand, spending several weeks intensely tracking wild boars. Mark: And I went out, and I followed them [the boars] into a transition zone […] I was almost enticed to eat something in there, and I walked in, and I started cracking off the leaves and stuff and digging around the way that they dig, and I looked up and I was in and amongst all the females. And not like ‘oh, here we all are together’ but they were right there eating also. And they weren’t alarmed. And then I thought about it, and my head kind of popped up when I realized they were actually right there, and they all took off, and I watched them single file. They disappeared, thrashed out of the brush where I was, and I watched just a little bit of distance away as single file they popped over the top of the hill. […] And just then I turned my head, and in the ferns, literally six to ten feet away, I saw an eye. Just an eye. And I was like, “Holy, shnikey!” and it was the boar. And as soon as I saw him and he saw me, he just disappeared. He took off. So he was sitting there just watching me. Maybe he’d never seen a human act like that, and follow him for days and so he was like: “Ok, what the fuck is going on with this guy.” In not-thinking with their minds, my friends come to think with their bodies, echoing a stanza from a Mary Oliver poem (1986), letting the “soft animal of their body love what it loves.” By not-thinking, we come to follow the tracks of the animals we encounter, share sensory input with them, and eventually, flow through the same paths. This proverbial ‘walking a mile in someone else’s shoes (or paws)’ provides the tracker with a great deal of empathy, if not mind-sharing with the animals they trail. Alex: You can read a trail of a coyote and trot along with it. […] My mind is clear. It’s just really peaceful. You’re aware. You’re open to picking up changes in the environment around you. Charlie: There are always opportunities to connect with that animal and understand its life. […] In a way you’re walking the same path that it did. Lucas: I guess you spend a lot of time doing the same things that other animals are doing. Maybe you become a little more like them… Maybe that’s a way to develop a closer relationship with them… You understand them a little better… I think the more time you spend out in the woods the more time you just end up becoming an instrument of the woods and of the landscape. It just happens. It is in this way that these wild animals come to be companions in the etymological sense of the word, that is, as messmates at a table (Haraway, 2009). Through eating what the boars are eating, Mark comes to feel companionship with them, becoming a little more boar-like, which, in turn, makes the wild boar a little more man-like. By becoming more like each other with each other, they are able to recognize each other (Haraway 2009; Kohn n.d.). For Lucas, becoming messmates at a table creates an affinity, a kinship, with bears. 32 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Lucas: I was pretty pumped about bear and had them on my mind a lot and was really appreciative of them and the fact that they are able to use roadkill. I felt somewhat akin to them in that way because we both appreciate meat where we could find it. […] When we stopped and I got up and went over there, there was a bear that was right there. Some 20-30 feet away and had probably been watching us the whole time. In eating road-kill, and dumping the processed carcasses in the woods for the bear to eat, Lucas comes to share a meal with this creature, who he has now encountered several times in the forest. In thinking about bear, and inhabiting the same space as bear through sharing road-kill and fishing for salmon (and eating garbage?), Lucas comes to share, to a certain degree, a mind with bears, but more importantly, this particular bear, this individual of a bear who lives in the forest behind our house. Far from being a Capital-B-Bear, the idea of a bear, this bear becomes an individual, a person, if you will, who Lucas feels connected to, in a similar way he feels connected to Charlie, or me (Kohn n.d.). He may not share language, but he has shared something, has partaken in the story of the bear, and this bear has partaken in Lucas’ story, too. In a sense, all the animals we encounter, or, at least, those we intimately get to know, hand in freshly spilled guts and the smell of blood on the cutting board, becoming individuals whose stories we tell over and over. They affect us, as we gaze into their soon-extinguished eyes. In order to better track and find these animals, so that we may connect with them by eating (with?) them at the table, my friends are letting their bodies follow paths of least resistance over the landscape. But, at the same time, these paths have become a form of unintentional resistance. Lucas, Charlie, Alex, and Mark spend a good deal of their time thinking about where their food will come from. And yet, unlike most food activists I have encountered on campus or through sustainable urban agriculture campaigns, political issues seem to take a peripheral place in the lives of my household. Instead, food procurement has become a social activity, an activity more closely related to personal physical and mental freedom than one of overt political resistance. Take, for instance, a day in the life of the household, where a variety of food procuring activities may take place – feeding the ducks, chickens and rabbits in the morning; cooking up road-kill deer; making sauerkraut from free cabbages on a nearby farm; going for a wander in the woods with a bow to shoot salmon; cooking up a dumpstered turkey for a community dinner; driving to Seattle to dumpster food for humans and livestock alike. These activities often fill a large portion of the day, and are done in the company of one or more individuals. More importantly, they subvert the ways in which we are expected to obtain food, moving away from a wage labor economy. Lucas: I really like the idea of hunting because its simple, and I like things simple. It makes more sense to go hunt your own food then to work for somebody else to get money to then go buy food that you don’t know anything about. That just seems really disconnected. In obtaining food this way, these men are not only subverting a wage-labor system; they are also challenging the notion of ‘work.’ Instead of considering work a necessary evil, which requires a certain degree of unhappiness, they instead choose to find their own food, and in doing so, depart from the negative connotations of work through their feelings of satisfaction. Alex: And then I guess it feels like satisfying work. Like chopping wood for instance… all those things where you’re onto something, it’s what it feels like to me when you’re trailing an animal. Because obviously there is the potential of trailing an animal for meat. For sustenance. In trailing and hunting for food, and considering this work, these young men also 33 Fields - Winter 2013 - put into question the modern perspective of manhood, in the sense that they choose to work as little as possible, a way of life in our society that implies laziness and an inability to provide. Charlie: To kill something that you’ve been following or that you’ve hunted. It’s a good feeling. I guess pride is the only word I can think of. But it’s nice to go home and have a meal that you worked to get, and put the time into getting to know it enough that you could end its life and honor it by eating it or using the rest of it for other things as well. Yurchak, in his paper “Necro-Utopia: The politics of indistinction and the aesthetics of the non-soviet” (2008), describes the ways in which emergent artistic communities challenged Soviet communism by identifying themselves not as Soviet or Anti-Soviets, but as non-Soviet entities who refused to engage as political selves. In challenging Soviet power in this unexpected way, which he defines as politics of indistinction, these artistic communities were creating new forms of being within the Soviet Union, which placed them outside the dichotomy of friend or foe, thus destabilizing the state’s power over them. I argue that the forms of subversion found here, apolitical and yet challenging to a wage-labor capitalist economy and our global food system, comprise politics of indistinction. We currently live in a world where food comes from far and wide, where the politics of globalization and capitalism affect food prices and the availability of certain foods. This system distances us from the foods we eat, often keeping us from deeply understanding the price of sustaining our lives. Lucas: I have become a lot more aware of how many animals have to die for me to live. It’s a lot. I’m eating a lot of soup, as you know, so if I were to only eat chicken soup I would probably eat one chicken a day. friends have raised concerns regarding safety and health, food cleanliness, and, important in the framework of hunting, the ways in which choosing to hunt when alternatives are available may indicate deviant behaviors. And yet, even after all of these concerns are rationally addressed, friends continue to remain unsettled, viewing our behavior as absurd, violent, and incoherent, yet nonetheless difficult to pinpoint as overtly politically dangerous (Yurchak 2008). The biggest concern expressed by outsiders with regard to hunting relates to the perceived inhumanity required to take the life of an animal. And yet, Charlie and Lucas turn this on its head, concerning themselves with deeper truths, “problems that transcend any given social world and historic period” (Yurchak 2008: 200). They question what it means to be humane, to act in a human, ethical way. Lucas: I don’t like to kill. It doesn’t feel good to take the life of something. But, because it’s necessary, I’m interested in it, and I enjoy hunting. I don’t enjoy killing things, but I like the idea that if I’m hunting something, I can make sure that that animal is being harvested in a healthy and sustainable way and that it’s being done in a respectful way. When I buy food I don’t know how the animal was killed or how that animal lived. Charlie: It’s oddly grounding… It’s a fairly simple thing to kill an animal or to kill something. It forces me to be reverent for life, and for the life that that animal lived in. This lifestyle is deeply unsettling to those who stand outside it, and many childhood In confronting the reality of the life sacrificed so that we can eat, these young men are partaking in an ongoing experiment, an experiment which forces them to confront the cost of their existence. In doing so, they find meaning and truth that extends far beyond the political. Yurchak describes this as “bare life”; “life uncontaminated by human consciousness,” an extension of what we have described as non-thinking as a greater form of thinking (2008: 210). It may well be that, in order to change political systems that seem 34 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Lisa learns to skin a coyote immutable and eternal, we need to imagine what is unimaginable: a life with minimal formal wage-labor work, where individuals can find satisfaction in primary subsistence, in honesty in their consumption, in thinking with the animals they choose to kill and eat (Yurchak 2008). One of the major ways in which my friends have been affected by this form of primary subsistence is through their developed understanding of theories of abundance. Mark: We belong here on the earth, as a natural part of what everything else is. But it’s so hard. That’s not in us because we’ve isolated ourselves in a lot of ways […] You’re entitled to be there […] We don’t know how to survive without taking more then we have to give back, and so through the process of just being out there, and essentially fasting, which I’ll call hunting, there is just something else. You pass through that fog of what you think is reality. For me, it was after three days of struggling, and then it would be a very distinct and noticeable transition where a big weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt very much like I was entitled to being where I was. And I would describe it as a kind of being… embraced by all the other things that were there. I belonged to it and it belonged to me. And that would be what I would call abundance. foraging peoples all over the world who see the forest as fundamentally giving in terms of food and materials. Barnard (1998) proposes that this attitude towards subsistence activities can be claimed as The Foraging Mode of Thought, which goes beyond classic hunter-gatherers to all those who partake in foraging economies. Environment, then, can be defined as going beyond classic wild spaces, and into to urban spaces. These two authors claim that, in contrast to the dominant economies, which work through scarcity, the foraging mode of thought focuses on the ways in which knowledge of food procurement contributes to economics of abundance, and thus redistribution (Bird-David 1990; Barnard 1998). Put simply, if you know where to find food, you will never run out. As a foraging household, we experience a world of abundance, not only in the world of hunting and foraging, but also within urban foraging activities, such as dumpster-diving. Indeed, a joke poster of the ‘dumpster God’ hangs on a wall in the laundry room, and on my last dumpster diving trip in Seattle, Charlie found a pencil, and inscribed on the inside of the dumpster, “Thank you dumpster God!” Though mostly humorous in nature, this attitude, one of thanksgiving, is a response to the seemingly endless abundance of food that we experience in the world around us. Giving thanks, a practice taught by the school as a way to unite the group before the day’s activities, finds a new life within the informal setting of foraging, where abundance is encountered on a daily basis. Lucas: I kind of hung out and I watched a lot of salmon. I just kind of enjoyed them, was thankful for them. Bird-David (1990) describes this as The Giving Environment, a notion shared by Redistribution is a key element in living in abundance. In this same way, our household economy serves as a central point for much food redistribution within the community. Any dumpster-diving trip results in a ‘give’ 35 Fields - Winter 2013 - The bounty from a single dumpster trip box for various members of the community who are having a rough time finding work. Furthermore, all are welcome into the house for food at any time of the day or night, and are not necessarily required to reciprocate. Within the household, food is also shared between inhabitants. But these theories of abundance go far beyond material abundance, as they speak to a sense of belonging within a greater social and environmental sphere. In hunting and harvesting food, and simply tracking local animals for pleasure, members of the household come to feel connected to the animals they interact with, as well as a sense of fraternity, as Lucas mentioned in the bear example above, and a sense of acknowledgement, as Mark explains with reference to his interactions with the wild boars. Mark: So I think that I was just looking to connect at all, you know. Because there was kind of a gnawing need within me and it was distinctly fulfilled or satiated, by, for instance, that eye contact with that boar. It was something that made me feel like I had had a real relationship, a dialogue of some kind. We had regarded on another in a space that I was, in a space that was more of a reality with me that what I could find with my friends and family […] Reciprocity in the form of some way to dialogue with something. It might even be fabricated, but if you don’t have a way to bounce your reality off something else, you’re dead. You’re vanished. Right? You’re sitting there, talking to a soccer ball. In essence, then, harvesting wild food serves as a space for interaction which allow individuals, so isolated within our food system and from one another, to share an experience with another living creature. The death of a living creature through its transformation into food allows for further connections with humans and non-humans alike through food sharing (i.e., dumpster food for the rabbits and humans). Eventually, these experiences allow the individual to feel connected and integrated in a greater world, often borrowing Indigenous people’s environmental rhetoric. 36 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Mark: It’s like you’re out there and you can’t eat and you think a lot about stuff and the night is fucking scary and dark, you know? In general you have big long sessions of: why am I here? Then you also have these profound euphoric moments of thanksgiving and a feeling of real connectedness and also of belonging and that’s a form of reciprocity. […] At some point it feels like nature itself or the environment embraces you, nurtures you, and you get what you need. You get just enough from it to feel like you can make it and you keep going on. Lucas: At least it in part comes from operating under the assumption that we’re not separate from nature. I think that’s a flaw of modern man’s thinking – that we’re separate. households will contribute to systemic change as in the Soviet Union does not matter. What matters, dear reader, is that you’ve joined me in exploring the mind of my house, of my friends. What matters is that these individuals are thinking and dreaming new and old ways of existing into being. And beyond that, beyond the animals and the politics and abundance: Mark: It had the sensation of all the thoughts leaving my head, with no thoughts whatsoever, and I heard a twig snap behind me at that moment which probably wasn’t anything. It was almost an adrenaline rush or something, but then I had this distinct sensation that the boundary of my body is no longer there. There wasn’t a place where whatever was around me ended and I began. Notes 1. Four women and three men live in this household. None of the women agreed to participate in an interview. References Barnard, Alan 1998 The Foraging Mode of Though. Senri Ethnological Studies 60:5-24. Bird-David, Nurit 1990 The Giving Environment: Another perspective on the economic system of gathererhunters. Current Anthropology 31(2):189-196. Haraway, Donna 2009 Becoming-with-Companions: Sharing and Response in Experimental Laboratories. In Animal Encounters. Tom Tyler and Manuela Rossini eds. Pp. 115-36. Leiden: Brill NV. Kohn, Eduardo N.d How Forests Think. In press. Department of Anthropology, McGill University. Oliver, Mary 1986 Dream work. Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press. Yurchak, Alexei 2008 Necro-Utopia: The politics of indistinction and the aesthetics of the non-soviet.Current Anthropology. 49(2):199-224. It is these connections that hold people into the greater webs of existence that are felt so strongly here. In this center lives the individual, at times clad in wool sweaters from Value Village, at times in buckskin clothing from a recent road-kill buck whose bones serve as the needle, his tendons the thread. Around the individual exists other selves – there is four-year-old Amira who scoots closer to the knife that kills the bullfrog we will eat for dinner, the bear who shares a meal with Lucas, the boar that looks Mark in the eye. Outside the house lies a greater community, participating in the lives of the household in various direct and indirect ways. And beyond this lies a movement of young people, described by one of my professors as bikebuilding/DIY anarchist/urban agriculture/ dumpster diving/polyamorous folks, whose households are spread out aross the world and who all participate in their own form of subversive economies. As these household cultures are still emerging, it is difficult to know the long term impact they will have, whether they will teach their children how to participate in these subversive economies or join the mainstream, and whether this movement will collapse. But, whether we will be thought upon in the way communes in the sixties are thought upon, or whether these 37 Fields - Bookman of the World Mayumi Robinson Winter 2013 - Bookman of the World follows a man, Hans Moller, as he reflects on people in his life through photographs and stories. It is a sensory ethnography very loosely about memory, embodiment and aging explored in the manipulation of image and sound. Most of all, the film documents an anthropological interaction with Mr. Moller in the brief sharing of time, place and memory. The film is a result of the omissions and conditions of this interaction, of what goes unsaid and unseen and whether they should remain so. 38 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - 39 Fields - Winter 2013 - 40 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s The extensions of the ancient Egyptian self Émilie Sarrazin Personhood and materiality - Naturalism, a worldview prevalent since the Renaissance, has left a long-lasting mark on Western academia. The strict Cartesian opposition it maintains between nature and culture, mind and body, objects and persons has been embodied in the methods and theories of various disciplines, including anthropology and archaeology. However, scholars in these two disciplines, exposed to different beliefs and customs, were also confronted with the puzzling idea that men across time and space have not always perceived in the same way their conditions as persons in relation to the material world. To allow for a more nuanced understanding of human experience, terms such as “materiality,” “material agency,” and “distributed personhood” started to emerge. In the first section of this paper, I will situate these concepts historically by describing general developments in the study of material culture and personhood in anthropology and archaeology. Then, I will highlight the pertinence of these new theoretical stances by using the conception of personhood and materiality in New Kingdom Egypt (ca. 1558-1080 BC) as a case-study. Changes in the study of material culture and personhood From the second half of the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century, Fowler (2010:354) notes a common tendency among anthropologists and archaeologists to treat material culture as the passive mirror of the society which produced it. For instance, early evolutionary approach, exemplified by the work of the General Pitt-Rivers, organized societies on a continuum based on artifact typologies. This method was built on the assumption that the complexity of material culture reflected the complexity of social organisation (Fowler 2010:355). Similarly, functionalist and structural-functionalist scholars considered material culture as a concrete manifestation of social structure. Indeed, according to the father of structural-functionalism, Émile Durkheim, the material world determined the morphology of societies, and thus supported the emergence of specific social patterns (Fowler 2010: 354-356). Also, in the culture-historical approach championed by Franz Boas in the early twentieth century, material culture was an amalgam of “traits” that reflected unique traditional practices, which were used to characterise distinct “cultures” (Binford 1962:217; Fowler 2010:355-356). In all these early approaches, scholars studied the material aspects of societies because they were conceived as tangible echoes of abstract social patterns or cultural particularities. A pioneer in an alternate conception of material culture, Karl Marx recognized the crucial role played by material production and conditions in shaping human existence, as well as driving social changes (Jones and Boivin 2010:337-338). The adoption of his historical model in anthropology and archaeology, particularly between the 1950s and 1970s, led to a new understanding of material culture and identity. In a Marxist framework, the use and production of artifacts served to mediate social interactions and negotiate ideological positions. Thus, objects were no longer passive mirrors of the social order; rather, they could actively mask, naturalize, or manipulate relations of power and identity positions (Fowler 2010:359). However, falling in popularity, Marx’s historical materialism was critiqued during the 1970s due to its deterministic character, which had led 41 Fields - Winter 2013 - to the creation of static evolutionary models based on technological adaptation (Jones and Boivin 2010:338-339). Nonetheless, aspects of Marxist terminology and perspective have remained influential in the field. During the 1960s, archaeologists began to ask for a more rigorous, scientific, and “objective” method for studying social changes and the functioning of human societies through material culture. The new paradigm proposed by Lewis Binford, called processual archaeology, used material culture to make hypothesis about the organisational and technological developments of past societies (Jones and Boivin 2010:336). According to Binford (1962:217-218), artifacts reflected specific aspects of the total cultural system. Then, observed changes in either social, technological, or ideological sub-systems correlated with wider developments in the whole structure. In the mortuary sphere, for instance, grave goods became evidence of the type and number of social roles carried by individuals. This data, combined with the labor investment put in graves, was used as a measure of the overall complexity of the society (Binford 1971:1718, 20-21, 23). Thus, temporal changes in the composition of grave goods were linked with the chronological and structural progression of societies. In this approach, material culture was passive; it was a mere reflection of social changes (Fowler 2010:358). Similarly, identity as a concept was used to reflect on other issues such as social organisation, cultural tradition, or means of adaptation. There was no concern for the formation and negotiation of individual identities (Fowler 2010:358). For instance, recognizing aspects of the individual in funerary settings, such as age, sex, or affiliation, only aimed at a better understanding of the changing constitution of the society under study (Binford 1971:17-23). Parallel to processualism, structuralism and hermeneutics grew in importance during the 1960s and 1970s, and marked important changes in the study of material culture. Influenced by Ferdinand de Saussure’s sign system, anthropological studies placed language, discourse, and symbols at its forefront (Jones and Boivin 2010:335). In this new symbolic framework, material culture was understood as a form of communication, similar to texts or speech acts (Fowler 2010:355). For instance, for structuralist scholars such as Claude LeviStrauss, elements of the material world acted as opposed symbols, organized into a meaningful dual system similar to language (Fowler 2010:355). In the hermeneutic and interpretative approach developed by the anthropologist Clifford Geertz (1973:448), culture was studied as an assemblage of texts, or collectively sustained symbolic structures. According to Geertz (1973:443), acts but also objects were invested with layers of meanings to make everyday experience comprehensible. The influence of the semiotic and hermeneutic models in archaeology is epitomized by Hodder’s post-processualism, which is based on the paradigm that material culture could be read like a text (Hodder 2004:29; Jones and Boivin 2010:335). Hodder (2004:28, 30) adopted Geertz’s interpretative approach to understand past societies as meaningful wholes, and used semiotic to study material culture as a language with a specific “grammar” to be deciphered. The symbolic component of Hodder’s approach was epitomized by his assertion that “material culture has a meaning which goes beyond the physical properties of an object” (2004:28). Because objects were seen as entangled in network of social relationships and actions, material culture was meaningful, symbolic, and put into context with its social environment (Hodder 2004:28; Jones and Boivin 2010:336). Thus, material culture was no more a mirror of human behaviors or a passive tool to adapt to external changes; rather, it was actively used by human agents to shape identities and legitimate or transform society (Hodder 2004:29). 42 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Post-processual archaeology not only recognized the role of material culture in the production of society, but it also stressed the agency of people in negotiating the material conditions of their existence and in reflecting on the practices they undertook (Fowler 2010:361). Learning about the unique life and identity of individuals from the past has become a major goal in archaeology (Hodder 2000:22). However, by focusing on the meanings and representational qualities ascribed by men on artifacts, post-processualism deemphasized the importance of the physicality and composition of objects. There was little appreciation of substances and sensual experience, because the focus on meanings and metaphors transformed objects into symbols detached from their physical constitution (Fowler 2010:355; Jones and Boivin 2010:335-336, 347-348). Due to the influence of structuralist and hermeneutic thinking, post-processualism has unintentionally reinforced the dichotomy and implicit hierarchy between ideal and material, person and thing, subject and object (Fowler 2010:355; Jones and Boivin 2010:335-336, 347-348). The phenomenological turn in anthropology and archaeology brought to the front new ways of approaching material culture and personhood from the 1990s onwards (Fowler 2010:374). In archaeology, this approach emerged with concerns to understand the lived experience of past people, and was first articulated through landscape studies (Jones and Boivin 2010:349). This perspective, adapted from works of philosophers such as Hegel, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, and Heidegger, recognizes the subject as being embodied: he experiences the world physically through his body, and he is constituted through his interactions with the world in which he participates (Fowler 2010:375; Hodder 2000:24). An important contribution of phenomenology is that it questions the distinctions between natural and artificial, cultural and material, or substance and concept. Indeed, as the entire world is grasped and perceived by the embodied subject, nature is also socially and culturally shaped (Jones and Boivin 2010:349, 351). However, the drawback of early phenomenology is that it presupposed the universality of corporeal experience (Crossland 2010:389; Hodder 2004:35). The body that was imagined moving through the landscape was a healthy, adult male body, unburdened by heavy loads and undistracted by children (Crossland 2010:389). Also, self and body were seen as contained within the skin of a single, indivisible, and complete individual (Fowler 2010:366; Hodder 2000:23). However, studies of alternate forms of personhood have challenged the universality of the modern and Western conception of the individuated, self-determined, and bounded person (Fowler 2010:366; Hodder 2000:23). Structural-functionalist Marcel Mauss (1938) was the first to acknowledge that personhood has been defined and experienced differently in various societies, depending on the sociohistorical context. Most importantly, he suggested that person, individual, and self are not always conflated (Fowler 2010:366).1 Based on Maussâ€™s acknowledgement, modern anthropological terminology describes the individual as the skin-bound mortal being who is an element of personhood (Fowler 2012:353; Meskell 1999:32). Built upon but not limited by the individual, the person is then the social being possessing the specific capacities that his agency depends upon (Meskell 1999:32). Finally, selfhood is the inner, subjective sense of being as a person in a culturally constructed context of personhood (Meskell 1999:33-34). Maussâ€™s legacy is also linked with another of his work, The Gift, which was written in 1925 and translated into English in 1954. In this essay on gift exchange, Mauss remarked that the circulation of goods was central to the formation of personhood in certain societies. Moreover, he noted that objects could be positioned as persons in webs of social relationships (Jones 43 Fields - Winter 2013 - and Boivin 2010:340; Fowler 2010:368). Subsequent anthropological works between the 1970s and 1990s confirmed what Mauss was hinting at: the connection between person and object is relational, and the interaction between men and substances can shape the conceptions of a person. For instance, Marriott’s study of castes in India, published in 1976, revealed that the internal composition of a person was linked to his exterior relations, in which certain types of substances were shared and exchanged. This concept of the person, based on the external circulation of materials, was referred to as dividual or composite personhood (Crossland 2010:392; Fowler 2010:368-369). Strathern’s study of Malenesian communities in 1988 also led to the creation of a new concept, particle personhood. This term related to the constitution of the person through the transfer of personal essence invested in gifts from bodily labour to others (Fowler 2010:370; Crossland 2010:392). Through these studies, there was a recognition of personhood as being often distributed outside human bodies, as it involves social relationships and material objects (Fowler 2010:370). By the end of the 1990s, the term “materiality” emerged to avoid the nature-culture dichotomy and acknowledge the composite constitution of the person. Materiality refers to “the way human beings and society are influenced and shaped by the material world, as well as the way people use objects and other material aspects in acting, interacting and being in the world” (Kjølby 2009:31). This term focuses on the physical properties of substances and materials, the way they are conceptualised and valued, and their role in determining the impact of objects on society (Jones and Boivin 2010:337). In addition, scholars understand personhood as being closely intertwined with the way persons, animals, objects and places are categorized and constituted out of bodies and materials (Fowler 2012:353, 356). Studies of materiality affirm that the practices by which people make, use, and live with objects also make them as persons. Thus, the interactions between people, but also between people and things, shape identities (Fowler 2010:359). These studies are interested in the ways in which personhood, experience and agency are materially constituted, expressed and extended (Kjølby 2009:31). Every culture has a distinct materiality; each appraises the properties, qualities and effectiveness of substances differently (Fowler 2010:376). For instance, totemism, animism, and fetishism are fundamentally different from Western naturalism in the ways they perceive objects. According to these three worldviews, “inanimate” objects could be invested with vitality, and some could act of their own will to cause phenomenon to occur (Jones and Boivin 2010: 342). In animist worldviews, objects could become manifestations of an ever-present life force. Fetish objects, for their part, are seen as permanently invested with an independent life and ability to act (Jones and Boivin 2010:344). Images and copies such as icons and idols, also called simulacrum, have also been perceived in non-Western settings as having the efficacious and intrinsic power to become and not merely represent the person, deity or object they depict (Merrin 1999:43). Even in the Western world, the distinction between animate subjects and inanimate objects has not always been impermeable. For instance, in seventeenth century England, effigies of the deceased in wood or wax were considered as potent as the natural body to represent the deceased. By denying the direct impact of death on the social world, they extended the existence of the person (Tarlow 2008:71-72). Also, in the modern society, efficacious images are crafted through the media coverage of important events and the lives of celebrity-idols; these are termed hyperreal simulacrum, as they eclipse the real by their excess of reality (Merrin 1999:44-45, 50-54). Thus, from past to present, images and objects have 44 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - been seen as embodying a being or a force, as having the power to act, or even as supplanting the original they represent by seeming more real than reality. These perspectives on the material world led more scholars to argue for the redefinition of the Western notion of agency to include non-human actors, and go beyond theories such as those of Giddens (1979) and Bourdieu (1990) (Crossland 2010:394; Jones and Boivin 2010:337). Although both Giddens (1979:53) and Bourdieu (1990:52-53) recognize the mutual self-construction of people and things through practices, their models still maintain a strong divide between subject and object that is typical of Western culture (Jones and Boivin 2010:342). According to the “structuration theory” of Anthony Giddens (1979:53, 69), human agents reproduce, through their actions, the conditions that make these activities possible; in other words, the material world both structures and is structured by embodied practices (Jones and Boivin 2010:341; Crossland 2010:390). For Bourdieu (1990:52-53), the interactions between humans and the external structure are inculcated and reproduced as habitus, as systems of durable and transposable dispositions that are both structuring and structured by human and non-human elements (Crossland 2010:390; Fowler 2010:360). However, for both Giddens and Bourdieu, human subjects exercise agency upon inert objects: the “agency of things” is limited to either enabling or constraining human actions, or impacting on the structure of habitus (Bourdieu 1990:52-53; Giddens 1979:69; Jones and Boivin 2010:342). Although such “practice theories” accorded with Western naturalism, they do not account for alternative modes of interaction with the material world, such as totemism, animism, and fetishism. In his book Art and Agency: an Anthropological Theory, Alfred Gell (1998) has attempted to overcome this opposition between the animate subject and the inanimate object. Gell (1998:17-18) acknowledges the existence of “apotropaic” objects, which appear to act as agents due to ascribed intentionality, and their position in webs of relationships where they appear as the immediate “other” (Hodder 2004:33; Jones and Boivin 2010:340; Kjølby 2009:33). To account for material agency, Gell (1998:6, 20-21) makes a distinction between “primary” agency, defined by genuine will and intention, and “secondary” agency, or agency by proxy. Non-human agents are of the second type, and are seen as necessary media for the distribution of human agency (Jones and Boivin 2010:340-341; Meskell 2004:52-53). Thus, there are two aspects to agency: the agency of those acting and the agency ascribed by observers (Hodder 2004:33). Moreover, objects could be part of what Gell (1998:103, 222-223) called “distributed personhood,” or a social person extending beyond his corporeal or lifetime barrier through material objects that bear witness to the person’s attributes, memories, or biography (Kjølby 2009:34). However, critics have argued that this approach, while being a grand and important step, is insufficient to account for the multiple ways nature has been objectified (Jones and Boivin 2010:342). For instance, Jones and Boivin (2010:345) state that discriminating between primary and secondary agents is difficult and elusive. These authors suggest that things always act as intermediaries for human actions, so that actors and their intermediaries tend to form closed networks where “primary” and “secondary” agents become impossible to differentiate (Jones and Boivin 2010:345-346). Thus, anthropologists and archaeologists need to move beyond both Giddens’ idea of constraints and Gell’s intentionality to understand the agency imbued on the material world by some non-Western modes of interaction (Jones and Boivin 2010:346-347). Anthropologists and archaeologists need to acknowledge that human actors from different times and places 45 Fields - Winter 2013 - have believed that objects impacted on them, were part of them, or possessed the same abilities as humans to change the world. Materiality and personhood in ancient Egypt: A case-study These emerging notions of personhood, materiality, and material agency are essential for understanding New Kingdom Egypt. Ancient Egyptians had their own complex conceptions of the person and of the different forms of human-object interactions. The Egyptian case challenges the common understanding of subject and object as discrete entities with fixed boundaries, and asks for the expansion of the notion of agency to non-human entities (Meskell 2005:51, 53). Information about the ancient Egyptian notion of personhood is mostly found in funerary and commemorative settings, because the person emerged in all its complexity at death. Also, because the majority of the archaeological and textual data central to this topic sources from the New Kingdom (ca. 1558-1080 BC), this section of the paper limits its conclusions to this time period. In life, ancient Egyptians thought of themselves as composites consisting of distinct parts existing within a unified framework (Meskell 1999:111). The body was an amalgam of concepts to be related, a conception visible in domains such as love poetry, funerary spells, and two-dimensional iconography, which treated each body part independently to characterise the whole (Assmann 2005:35-36; Meskell 1999:116-117). This fragmented network of limbs and organs was connected thanks to the heart and its system of blood vessels (Assmann 2005:26; Meskell 1999:112, 115). Because the body lives as long as the heart “speaks” in all the veins, the Egyptians understood the heart as the generator of connectivity (Assmann 2005:28). Also, because of its centrality in the body, this organ was conceived as the seat of emotions, thinking, and memory, and was ideally not removed during the mummi- fication process (Assmann 2005:102; Meskell 1999:118). When the heart stopped beating, the limbs and organs of the deceased became theoretically dispersed and disconnected: death was conceptualized was as an act of dismemberment. Many funerary spells and rituals aimed at collecting, joining and reuniting the body, so as to give back the lost functions to the deceased (Assmann 2005:26, 34; Meskell 1999:115). The most important of these rituals was when the heart was restored to its former position for the awakening of its centralizing functions (Assmann 2005:32). However, it was not only the body that became dispersed at death. The different components of the person, including aspects such as the individual’s vitality, personality, morality, or emotional dimension, dissociated from one another. Conceptually gaining a life of their own, these facets still remained linked through various forms of relationships (Assmann 2005:87; Meskell 1999:112). Funerary inscriptions most commonly refer to nine components of the person: the ba, the ka, the akh, the heart ( and ),2 the shadow ( ), the name ( ), the body ( ), the corpse ( ), and the mummy ( ) (Assmann 2005:88; Kjølby 2009:37). Proper connection between the dispersed elements of the person, but also between the deceased and the living, was essential for the survival of the individual after death (Assmann 2005:39-40). For instance, the name was a fundamental aspect of a person, both in life and in death. Its mention by the living ensured the continuation of life after death through remembering and social connectivity (Assmann 2005:39-40). “Making the name lived” was a standard component of dedication and offering formulas. Voluntarily erasing the written name of a deceased or avoiding to pronounce it would contest the immortality and past existence of a person (Kjølby 2009:36). The relationship between these parts of the deceased and the person as a whole is highly 46 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - complex. For instance, the ancient Egyptians thought of the heart as a vital component of the person, since it represents the entire individual at the Judgement of the Dead. According to the Book of the Dead, the deceased must be judged in the tribunal of Osiris to obtain the right to immortality. To decide if the deceased was just, the god Anubis would weigh the heart against the Feature of Truth, an incarnation of the goddess of justice and harmony, Maat. If the heart was heavy with evil deeds, a monstrous goddess would consume it, which would result in the second and definite death of the person. If the heart was as light as Maat, the deceased could enter the realm of Osiris. In some depictions of this scene, the heart on the scale is replaced by a small human figure, acknowledging that the heart could stand for the whole person (Meskell 1999:118). On the other hand, the heart was independent enough to be able to testify against the person during the Judgement. Specific spells from the Book of the Dead even aimed at insuring that the heart would not turn against its owner (Assmann 2005:100-101; Meskell 1999:118). Thus, the heart was conceptualised both as a microcosm of the entire person and as a dangerously independent part of it. The ka, akh and ba correspond to immaterial components of the person. They had access to the afterlife, but could also materialise in the realm of the living. The ka was born with the person, and maintained a symbiotic relationship with him in life. In inscriptions and iconography, the ka is sometimes depicted as a double or alter ego of the person, or as a vital energy passed down from generation to generation. This entity was linked to the social and moral aspect of the person, as well as to the memory of the deceased that is reactivated through physical representations (Assmann 2005:44, 97, 100-101; Meskell 1999:112; Murnane 1992:40). Offerings to the deceased were generally made to the ka, which movements and manifestations on earth were con- fined to the tomb (Murnane 1992:40). Meanwhile, the akh was the efficient or transfigured ancestral spirit (Assmann 2005:88, Meskell 1999:113). This facet of the person maintained a special relationship with major gods such as Osiris, Amun and Re in the afterlife. The akh could also interfere with the living by either manifesting itself in material objects, or by appearing in dreams and other liminal zones as an immaterial being. Although usually benevolent the akh dissatisfied by its treatment after death could haunt or manifest illness in relatives (Teeter 2011:148-149). An important component of the person, the ba retained the personality. Despite being immaterial, the ba had material needs, the fulfillment of which was vital for the survival of the dispersed self (Meskell 1999:112). To satisfy these needs, the ba had the ability to “come forth” from the realm of the beyond, and move freely beyond the tomb. Materializing itself to receive offerings and participate in festivals, the ba “descended on” or “united with” material depictions of the deceased (Assmann 2005:97, 215; Kjølby 2009:38-39; Murnane 1992:40-41).Thus, statues, stelae, and other images did not serve to abstractly preserve the memory of the person, but to provide the ba of the deceased with a manifestation through which he could interact with the living (Kjølby 2009:36, 38). Funerary invocations, such as “May my ba alight on my images ( ) in the monuments I have made” and “May my ba emerge, at the sound of its mortuary priest, to receive the offerings that have been brought to it,” stress the necessity of the “indwelling” or “installation” of the ba in its different physical medium (Kjølby 2009:38-39). Moreover, every night, the ba would reunite with the deceased’s body to protect the mummy and regenerate itself. Although the ba was attached to the body during life and separated from the corpse at death, its continuing connection with the mummy remained essential for the perpetuation of the person’s 47 Fields - Winter 2013 - unity (Assmann 2005:88, 93-94; Meskell 1999:112). In case the mummy would be destroyed, depictions of the deceased were placed in tombs, mortuary chapels, and temples as “substitute bodies” (Murnane 1992:38). The rapprochement between statue and body is not an abstract and analytical analogy, but a real emic perspective. In ancient Egyptian, means both “body” and “representation,” and words such as “corpse,” “body,” “statue,” “picture,” “form,” and “shape” were accompanied by the same determinative (Kjølby 2009:38; Assmann 2005:106).3 The distinction between natural and artificial bodies was blurred as both the mummy and the statue were conceived as corporeal medium, used for the manifestation of the deceased and the continuation of his life (Assmann 2005:108). The natural body also became an “image” of the deceased through mummification (Assmann 2005:105). The earliest and most fundamental principle of mummification was not the preservation of the body, but the maintenance of the lifelike external appearance of the individual. Corpses were wrapped, padded, plastered, and painted, regardless of internal decomposition (Assmann 2005:105; Murnane 1992:37). Mummification attempted both to avoid the depersonalisation of the decomposing corpse and to transform it into an immutable and deified body for the deceased (Meskell 2004:125-126). According to Hertz (2008:42-43), Egyptian mummification is an elaborate form of temporary burial, where the corpse could reach an imperishable state, capable of entering a new life. The mummy was a crafted corporeality, clean, impenetrable, and free from imperfection. To a certain extent, the mummification techniques morphed the body into an object, a permanent and divine representation transcending its natural composition (Meskell 2005:6061). Indeed, through prosthetic and aesthetic changes, masks and painting, the body became an embellished and perfectly preserved im- age of itself, a simulacrum (Meskell 2004:127; Meskell 2005:61). The Opening of the Mouth ritual is informative of the relationship between statues and mummies, and of the potency of the deceased’s replica. Complete versions of this ritual are not found prior to the New Kingdom, but its use of spells from the Pyramid Texts suggests that it sources from practices and beliefs dating back to the Old Kingdom (Assmann 2005:312; Meskell 1999:126; Roth 1993:75). Conducted in both sculptors’ workshops and funerary settings (Roth 1993:75), the Opening of the Mouth centered on the use of sacred instruments to touch the statues’ mouth. This ceremony transformed statues into potent cultic bodies that could become the house of a ba and the receptacle of a ka. Thus, without proper carrying of this ritual, statues could not be animated by either a god or a deceased (Assmann 2005:312; Kjølby 2009:38; Meskell 2004:112). During the New Kingdom, this ceremony began to be carried on mummies, which became more and more similar to statues as they underwent sophisticated transformations (Assmann 2005:108, 312; Roth 1993:76-77). Preparing both the mummy and the statue to receive offerings, the ritual was modelled on the newborns’ experiences, from the cleaning of the mucus away from his mouth to breastfeeding, and then eating solid foods after weaning (Roth 1993; Meskell 1999:125-126). The Opening of Mouth aimed at restoring the deceased’s ability to breath, see, speak, hear, and taste (Meskell 2004:112; Teeter 2011:139). Through this ceremony, statues and mummies were confounded as objects, but also brought back to life as living bodies. This assertion is supported by the ancient Egyptian vocabulary for sculpture: “sculptor” ( ) in ancient Egyptian means “one who makes life,” while the expression for fashioning a statue ( ) also means “to give birth” (Kjølby 2009:37; Meskell 2005:54). In practices, the 48 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - statues of gods, deified individuals, and even deceased relatives during the Ramesside period were spoken to, prayed to, and invoked. Like genuine bodies, they could be anointed, clothed, and provided with food and libations (Assmann 2005:106; Meskell 2003:42; Meskell 2005:55). From this ancient perspective, statues were imbued with life. Not only were statues conceived as living beings, but some were also treated as active social “others” and perceived as either messengers, mediators or oracles (Meskell 2004:98). For instance, in the village of Deir el Medina, the statue of the deified Pharaoh Amenhotep I was used as an oracle to settle disputes, and documents suggest that it had a concrete legal impact (Meskell 2003:37). Also, inscriptions on the statues of private individuals, such as the one of Amenhotep son of Hapu at Karnak, reveal that some were thought to have the ability to make requests heard by the gods in exchange for offerings. As intermediaries, statues were perceived as effective and legitimate agents who participated actively in the world of the living by acting on behalf of the latter in the other world (Kjølby 2009:41; Meskell 2005:56-57). These agentic objects were not only found in funerary and religious contexts, but also in personal houses. Ancestor busts and stelae were essential components of the domestic ancestor cult (Meskell 2003:36, 46).4 Inscriptions suggest that it was the akh of recently deceased family members, more precisely the akh ikr n Re or “effective spirits of Re,” which was revered through these artifacts (Meskell 2003:37; Teeter 2011:149-150). These mnemotechnic items directed the memory of the living towards their deceased relatives, and maintained the embodied presence of deceased across time and space (Meskell 2004:68). Indeed, like mummies and statues, these cultic objects were conceived as “material repository” for the immaterial being, thus considered as parts of the deceased’s distributed personhood (Meskell 2004:81-82). The frequently anony- mous busts of ancestors were possibly used for the akh of more than one deceased relative (Meskell 2004:74; Teeter 2011:150). According to Meskell (2003:45), the agency of these cultic objects resided in their power to both reactivate the presence of ancestors and cause the akh to manifest in these items. However, since ancestor busts could only be activated through dedications and incantations, they should be understood as situated between ritually activated objects and individually agentic ones (Meskell 2004: 77, 79). Through ancestor busts and stelae, the living invoked not only the ancestors’ presence but also their ability to intervene in mundane affairs (Meskell 2003:42, 46). Meskell (2003:45) proposes that these objects functioned like “letters to the dead,” asking the akh to intercede in the world of the living. These letters were most commonly written on pottery vessels or jar stands and, although few have been found in situ, they were generally left at the tomb with offerings to “attract” the deceased (Teeter 2011:153). In these letters, living relatives asked the akh for assistance to keep the family from harm, overcome sickness, find the source of personal misfortune, deal with malevolent spirits, or to intercede on behalf of the living with gods (Teeter 2011:153156). Akhs were even called as witnesses in lawsuits, or asked to arbitrate between rivals in inheritance (Teeter 2011:155, 160). Meskell (2003:46) proposes that the efficacy of these letters lay in their materiality and positioning, preferably near the tomb. The tomb in itself was a powerful installation, a physical reminder of the deceased and a home where he remained alive. As a liminal place, it facilitated communications between the two realms (Meskell 2005:66). Meskell (2004:71) suggests that it is the materiality of the ancestor busts and stelae which also gave them the power to become conducts between the two realms and allow family members to establish contact with deceased relatives. 49 Fields - Winter 2013 - Notions of “object” and “people” merged within these stelae and ancestor busts, which connected the living to the dead (Meskell 2003:45). Similarly, statues blurred the barrier between subject and object, as deities and deceased individuals were thought to live eternally and interact with the living through sculptured portraits (Kjølby 2009:42; Meskell 2004:98). These cases highlight the complex relationship between persons and their images in ancient Egyptian mortuary and commemorative contexts. Images of the individual were conceived as houses for the animate constituents of the person, such as the ba, ka and akh, and as potent substitutes for the self in and of themselves (Meskell 2004:102). Many textual evidence supports the idea that material renderings were conceptually considered as equivalent to other parts of the person. For instance, on the walls of the Seventeenth Dynasty tomb of the grain assessor Amenemhet at Thebes, the offering stone ( ), the stela ( ), and the tomb are included among the list of the fourteen constituents of the person (Assmann 2005:88-89; Kjølby 2009:37). These objects, as detached parts of the distributed person, extended the individual’s identity, presence, and agency beyond the physical body and death (Kjølby 2009:35-36; Meskell 2005:53). This conflation between inanimate object and animated subject expands even beyond depictions of the deceased. Some statues and figurines, not associated with a previously living being, were considered as persons in and of themselves. For example, shabtis were small servant figurines placed in tombs to replace the deceased at work in the afterlife. Only two documents relating to the making or selling of shabtis had been recovered.5 While both dated to the beginning of the later Third Intermediate Period, the information they contain has been also applied to the New Kingdom (Silver 2009:620-621). In these documents, the shabtis were called “men” by their makers, were directly addressed to, and were conceived as genuine participants in the transaction (Silver 2006:622). As a third party, they could refuse to agree to the terms of the contract, and had to be convinced (Silver 2009:623). To ensure their efficacy and willingness to work for their owner, the maker reminded the figurines about the money paid for them, and about “what has been done” to them in exchange for their work (Silver 2006:622) Silver (2009:623) proposes that it is their transformation from inert object to living being, or the receipt of life, which conceptually made the shabtis indebted to the craftsman, who could then convince them to become the servant or slave of their owner in the Beyond (Silver 2009:623). This particular conception of personhood, where objects play a vital part, cannot be fully grasped without understanding ancient Egyptian materiality in a broader sense. Indeed, the principle of substitution between images and what or who they represented was a strong precept of ancient Egyptian funerary religion (Teeter 2011:130). Paintings or threedimensional models of food, estates, workshops, furniture, or workers were placed in tombs because they were thought to have the power to become what they represent in the afterlife (Teeter 2011:130-131). These objects and depictions had a more practical than artistic value, as they worked as “magical backup” in case the mortuary cult was not maintained and offerings stopped (Murnane 1992:39). In general, Egyptian culture greatly emphasized material rendering and representation and strongly believed in the power of materiality (Meskell 2005:53, 70). One of the most powerful expressions of this belief is seen through the “mutilation” of hieroglyphs in funerary settings. For instance, on a shabti figurine found at Abydos and belonging to the official Renseneb from the Eighteenth Dynasty, all hieroglyphs representing humans or animals were either cut in half or represented without their feet. This practice insured that the living beings represented by the glyphs, made alive 50 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - by their rendition, would not cause harm to the deceased, or leave the tomb and cancel the spell written on the statuette (Pinch 1995:69). This belief in mimesis, or doubles imbued with the potency of the original, impacted on the conception of the ancient Egyptian person (Meskell 2005:53). Statues, stelae, painted images, and personalised coffins were considered as both bodies and doubles for the self: they were both physical substitutes and mimesis (Meskell 2005:53). The anthropomorphic nature of ancestor busts also suggests that, even when anonymous, they remained doubling, effigies or mimesis of the ancestors. They magically extracted power from the original, and were imbued with the ancestors’ efficacy (Meskell 2004:80). As the immaterial components of the person were embodied in these crafted bodies, there was gradually less distinction between soul and matter, natural and artificial bodies. Together, this mergence materialised the deceased person on earth and perpetuated his ability to act. The ancient Egyptian conception of the person triumphed over death by being anchored in the material world and by maintaining multiple connections with the world of the living through dispersed components. Conclusion Recent developments in the study of material culture and personhood allow for a more nuanced understanding of the relationships between the ancient Egyptian, the material sphere, and the spiritual world. During this ancient era, the notion of the person was intertwined with the potency of material representations. Without notions such as materiality, material agency, and extended personhood, the ancient Egyptian experience cannot be properly grasped. Persons were seen as partible, divisible, and unbounded, but an efficacious link between self, bodies, and images was maintained (Meskell 1999:114, 133). Objects were employed to extend the limits of the self; they were imbued with the intensity of human actors, and were involved in social relationships not unlike human subjects (Meskell 2004:82). Statues, mummies, stelae, ancestor busts, sarcophagus or shabtis could be called efficacious doubles, mimesis or simulacrum, but not “objects” in the Western sense (Meskell 2004:118-119). The ancient Egyptian notion of unbounded personhood, coupled with the power that was imbued in images and depictions, challenges the fixed boundaries that Western academia tend to draw between active subject and inanimate object. Notes 1. Mauss (1938) proposed that conceptions of the person evolved from the persona, the personage, the person and then to the self. The first two terms relate to social “masks,” names or roles endorsed by the individual and having organisational values. The third emerged under Roman law to account for a responsible and independent legal and moral entity. The last was forged by metaphysical notions developed under Christianity and Western modernity (Fowler 2010:366). 2. As the physical organ, the source of energy of the . As the deified body, the heart was named heart, connoting human will, mind and emotions, it was called . 3. A determinative is a non-phonetic hieroglyph placed at the end of a word to specify its overall meaning. 4. Although evidence mostly come from the workmen’s village of Deir el Medina, ancestor busts and stelae have been found at fourteen other ancient sites throughout Egypt, suggesting that ancestor veneration at the family level was not limited to this site (Meskell 2004:74). 5. The British Museum Papyrus EA 10800, the only known example of a bill of sale of shabtis, dated to the Twenty-First or Twenty-Second Dynasty. The Neskons Decree (Louvre E 6858; BM EA 16672), a oracular decree of the god Amun-Ra who summoned the shabtis made for the wife of his High Priest to properly exempt her from work, was written during the Twenty-First Dynasty (Silver 2009: 620-621). 51 Fields - Winter 2013 - References Assmann, Jan 2005 Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt. Ithaca: Cornell University. Binford, Lewis 1962 Archaeology as Anthropology. American Antiquity 28(2):217-225. Binford, Lewis 1971 Mortuary Practices: their Study and their Potential. In Approaches to the Social Dimensions of Mortuary Practices. James A. Brown, ed. Pp. 6-29. Memoirs of the Society for American Archaeology 25. Boivin, Nicole and Andrew M Jones 2010 The Malice of Inanimate Objects: Material Agency. In Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies, Dan Hicks and Mary C. Beaudry, eds. Pp. 33-351. 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Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 53 Fields - Contemporary manifestations and a Foucauldian deconstruction of feminist discourse Morgane Suel Sadomasochism as a sexual culture Winter 2013 - I cast myself down upon the prie-dieu, and while aloud I open my heart to the Eternal, Roland in a still crueler manner intensifies, upon the hindquarters I expose to him, his vexations and his torments; with all his strength he flogs those parts with a steel tipped martinet, each blow draws a gush of blood which springs to the walls…He seizes my arms, binds them to my side, then he slips a black silken noose about my neck; he holds both ends of the cord and, by tightening, he can strangle and dispatch me to the other world either quickly or slowly, depending upon his pleasure. —Marquis de Sade, Justine, 1781 With rise in media attention, the controversial topic of sadomasochism has gained increasing socio-cultural presence since the turn of the 21st century. First in its increasing commodification and appearances in fashion iconography, and second in the activist movements centered on sadomasochism as they have steadily gained momentum. However, much of this attention has focused on violent, non-consensual and purely theatrical behavior, which reflects the fact that very little information is available in mainstream media on what sadomasochism is all (actually) about. SM, the term used for “Sadomasochism,” is the joining of two words: sadism and masochism, named after two writers. The Marquis De Sade and Sacher-Masoch were two European aristocrats well known for writing about their 54 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - explicitly violent erotic activities, which at the time existed more in their minds than in reality (Langdridge and Barker: 185). Sade, living in 18th century France, was infamous for his books covering forms of sexuality that were considered unacceptable at the time. Not only did his sadist novels feature non-consenting victims, but he also had a criminal history for physically abusing brothel-workers and holding un-consenting sex slaves upon which to perform torturous acts. Sacher-Masoch, on the other hand, was a Polish Baron known for writing Venus in Furs, a book that established many of the domination and submission conventions of SM (Ehrmann 2005: 99) Inspired by the lives and works of these two men, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, a Professor of Neurology, coined the terms “sadism” and “masochism” in his 1886 Psychopatia Sexualis. In this work, which serves even today as a basis for many definitions and meanings given to sexuality, Krafft-Ebing frames “sadism” and “masochism” as perversions and inherited ‘deviant’ sexual traits. As a result of his influence in the medical community, the categories “sadism” and “masochism” became available as diagnoses of sexual pathology (Stoller 1991: 57). The discourse he uses around these two terms contributed to the negative framework in which they emerged, and consequentially the constant stigmatization of SM sexual practices to this day. Nevertheless, thanks to Krafft-Ebing’s work, the sadist came to be known as someone who enjoys inflicting pain while the masochist is someone who enjoys receiving pain. The realities of contemporary SM could not be more different than the writings of the two men who gave it its name. There are a variety of activities and experiences that fall under the umbrella term “SM,” all of which follow the motto “safe, sane and consensual” (Cross and Matheson 2006: 134) However, this motto contrasts with Krafft-Ebing’s assumptions on ‘S’ and ‘M’ respectively. “Safe” ensures that those participating cannot be hurt in any way that they don’t want to be, nor damaged in any way that will not heal. “Sane” guarantees that participants must be mindful not to physically, or psychologically damage those they are with. Finally, “consensual” means that those engaging in SM play are participating in activities they choose, and are not pressured to do anything against their will (Langdridge and Barker 2007: 168). Despite the evolution of SM bodily practices into a “safe, sane and consensual” discipline, the constant lack of education and information found in mainstream media about the realities of SM makes it so that negative discourse regarding the discipline, like that used by Krafft-Ebing, and the stigmatization of SM practices persists. Consequentially, SM practitioners have historically gathered in underground communities where they could practice sexual freedom shielded from public sentiments of disapproval, and even persecution (Weinberg et al. 1984: 87). Furthermore, over the decades, as sexual activism took root around the cause, the SM community has increasingly eased into being seen as an emerging ‘sexual culture’ as opposed to a taboo, cult-like discipline with likelihoods to rape and torture (Langdridge ad Barker 2007: 172). This study examines the emergence of an SM ‘sexual culture’ in the context of an increasingly complex 21st century. By looking at how SM practices historically parallel with the rapid development of society as a result of industrialization and the crumbling of the 19th century, I look at several things; first I argue that one of the contemporary manifestations of sadomasochism is the adoption of masochistic identities by SM practitioners as a means to escape from the ‘burden of selfhood’ emerging from the complex power dynamic of modernization. SM is used as a means to experience liberation while in a structured environment with clearly defined power roles. Second I look at the feminist sex wars centered on sadomasochism. Recently pro-SM feminists and con- 55 Fields - Winter 2013 - SM feminists have come to a debate about sadomasochism’s place in the feminist agenda; I analyze both sides. Finally I take a Foucauldian lens to deconstruct the pro-SM and con-SM feminist arguments as a means to explore why sexual discourse is absent where sadomasochism is concerned. The coming to being of SM sexual culture: A historical and cultural analysis Over the past three decades, the cultural visibility of SM has dramatically increased. Several corporate advertising campaigns featuring SM iconography by Saks Fifth Avenue and Ikea have recently been featured internationally. Popular music icons like Britney Spears have donned dominatrix garb and others, such as Rihanna, have gone as far as titling their songs “S&M.” Clearly, SM has been popularized by the 21st century through its motifs and iconography. In addition to symbolic presence in popular culture, researchers continue to debate the prevalence of SM behavior; research estimates that 5-10% of the US population (over 14 million individuals) currently engages in SM activities (Cross and Matheson 2006: 140). Despite the recent visibility and presence of SM in popular culture, the actual history of SM practice remains somewhat unstudied. The following section uses a cultural theory approach to investigate the history and formation of the contemporary SM phenomenon. I’ll examine the evolution of SM practice from the sixteenth century to the present in order to analyze its emergence as a “sexual culture” in the 21st century. A sexual culture may be defined as “a collective system of meanings and practices that emerges from historically specific social and psychological conditions” (Rathbone 2001: 78). In today’s Western society, we see several sexual cultures, such as homosexuality, co-existing alongside the “monogamous, reproductive heterosexual paradigm” (Leo 1995: 12). But how has SM become a sexual culture? By applying Kathy Sisson’s sexual culture formation model to SM, we can trace the sexual culture evolution through five stages: contacts, networks, communities, social movements and sexual cultures. Contacts: “discrete individuals sharing common desires locate and establish contact with each other” – 1600s-1900s (Langdridge 2007) Historical evidence of individuals engaging in SM behavior dates back to the seventeenth century. European medical literature from the time records flagellation as a treatment for male erectile dysfunction and female lack of desire (Largier and Harman 2007: 369). Europe also saw the flourishing of brothels specializing in SM behaviors parallel with the increasing prevalence of SM type motifs in eighteenth century novels (e.g. in Rousseau’s Confessions). Furthermore, the nineteenth century’s social transformations modernized human sexuality; new concepts of individual subjectivity (including sex and gender) were emerging with industrialization, shifts from agrarian to urban social organization, consumerism and the rise of the middle class. During this time, although the terms “sadism” and “masochism” were brought to the public arena by Krafft-Ebing’s work Psychopathia Sexualis, SM behaviors were restricted to themed novels and specialized brothels (Cross and Matheson 2006: 134). Networks: “contacts expand to loosely linked assemblages of like-minded individuals” – 1900s-1970s (Langdridge 2007) During the networks stage we see the beginning of the modern American SM phenomenon: the formation of practitioner networks. Nineteenth-century social developments in addition to the sexual revolution and WWI made non-commercial sex more acceptable and available, therefore enabling SM networks to form (Weinberg et all 1984: 385). Law enforcement began suppressing brothel prostitution so SM practices moved increasingly to the private arena. To gain knowledge and access to 56 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - the private party scene, SM practitioners used two contact strategies. The first was through carefully worded advertisements placed in underground magazines (through coded words and text implying “discipline”). The second was through producers of SM related products. SM erotica producers emerged in the 1930s with photographs, films, apparel and equipment (Cross and Matheson 2006: 160). Furthermore, technological and marketing shifts in the 60s facilitated the production of SM paraphernalia, which increased the popularization of SM in fashion due to the fact products were easier and cheaper to mass-produce. However, despite the increasing public visibility of SM iconography in mainstream magazines and fashion, fear of discrimination, harassment and legal prosecution urged the producer and practitioner networks to remain underground since a number of SM producers were imprisoned on obscenity charges. Communities: “networks merge and coalesce into unaffiliated, regional associations based on face-to-face interactions, sharing common interests, ideology and public spaces” – 1970s1980s (Langdridge 2007) The cultural shifts of the 60s made it easier for SM communities to form around budding support groups in the 70s. These groups attracted members from SM networks by focusing on three things: developing support groups, creating educational programs on safety and techniques and sponsoring regular SM ‘play parties’ (Weinberg et al. 1984: 380) Most importantly, these early groups established the structure and rules of safety and conduct still present in SM communities today. As a result of increased structure and organization, “official” communities saw a dramatic increase in membership and gradually began emerging into public view. Social movements: “communities grow and, often galvanized by the harassment and discrimination that accompany increasing social visibility, gather the economic political and social momentum necessary to support effective activist campaigns” – 1980s-1990s (Langdridge 2007) The public visibility of SM communities, organizations and sexuality increased considerably during the 80s. Influences specific to the decade, such as the HIV/AIDS crisis, a wave of technological change and transformations of mass media enabled the rapid expansion in SM’s local, national and international cultural visibility: consequentially fostering an environment for the emergence of SM activism (Rathbone 2001: 56). Contemporary manifestations of SM: Escapism As seen with the historical overview above, nineteenth-century social shifts created an environment where the formation of SM networks, and subsequently SM sexual culture, could flourish. Although there are several examples of contemporary manifestations of SM, I will be focusing on the de-pathologizing argument that modern SM is practiced as a means to escape the burdens of selfhood fostered by an aggressive twenty-first century. Sadomasochism has traditionally been examined through the pathologized lens of deviance since Freud coined the mono-term as a perversion in his 1905-piece Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex. Even today, sadomasochism exists as an entry in the DSM-IV. More recent studies on the discipline take on a social lens arguing that SM, instead of being a form of self-destruction, is a means of escaping high-level self-awareness through the adoption of a lower-awareness identity. Increasingly complex social conditions and modernizations of the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries created new anxieties and pressures as individuals shouldered new responsibilities and dealt with higher competition and expectations. In response to this phenomenon, Baumeister argues that the stress, high 57 Fields - Winter 2013 - levels of esteem and responsibilities imposed on twenty-first century individuals produced elaborate, hyper-aware selves (Baumeister 1988: 28). In order to escape the burdens of selfhood and achieve respite from the demands of modern society, he believes that hyper-aware and over-stimulated individuals find relief in temporarily adopting a masochistic identity (Baumeister 1988: 29). The best way to analyze this phenomenon is by looking at the masochist’s relation to pain. Although it is popular knowledge that masochism broadly refers to pleasure being derived from receiving pain, a common misconception is that masochists engage in SM practices with self-destructive intentions. However, recent evidence suggests that masochism decouples pain from harm or injury. Masochists persistently seek pain but carefully avoid injury through controlled doses of infliction. This begs the question that if pain serves as a biological warning of injury, which masochists are careful to avoid, then for what purpose is pain pursued in SM practices? Scarry proposes that the sensation of pain removes broader awareness of self and world (Lindemann 2011: 161). Using examples of torture, she argues that as sensations of pain increase, bodily pain supersedes the awareness of self as the individual is consumed by the intensity of bodily sensations (Lindemann 2011: 162). Pain gradually obliterates psychological awareness, eventually leaving only the awareness of pain. Furthermore, intense pain shrinks the temporal world to the immediate present, and the contextual lives of the hyper-aware individual disintegrate. Consequentially, SM is a gateway through which individuals can escape the burdensome day-to-day self-awareness associated with their everyday identities. SM practices use pain as a means to remove unwanted thoughts and images from states of high-level awareness, enabling the transition of individuals to a state of low-level awareness ruled by in-the-moment bodily sensations. This state provides practitioners with respite from the demands of modern society by promoting the self as a physical object (Cross and Matheson 2006: 52). Pain brings self-awareness down from symbolic identity to physical body, therefore allowing the SM practitioner to escape the burdens of personhood. SM seen through the feminist lens Historically, SM has come under fire for being anti-feminist and pathological, but as visibility and awareness increased, the practice became central to the feminist “sex wars.” It has been the aim of feminists to bring to light, and then eradicate, the model of dominance and submission built into patriarchal society. To these feminists, sadomasochism is inherently misogynistic and reinforces the behavioral structure of male dominance in society (Ani and Barker 2005: 229). However, in the late 70s and 80s women calling themselves both feminists and sadomasochists began emerging. These women, many of whom where self-identified feminist, claimed that one could be both a radical committed to the liberation of women and a sadomasochist who enjoys sex through a dominant/submissive model. In the following paragraphs I will examine both sides of the feminist SM debate. Feminists against SM Feminists against SM see the practice as the epitome of misogyny, sexism and violence because it reproduces the hierarchical ordering of gender, where men are dominant and women represent the “second sex” (Chancer 2000: 84). In Rethinking Sadomasochism: Feminism, Interpretation and Simulation Hopkins characterizes radical feminist opposition to SM in terms of three primary categories. The first of these categories is that lesbian SM replicates patriarchal relationships (Chancer 2000: 86). The primary claim backing this is that deriving pleasure from humiliating 58 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - or causing pain to other women reproduces the implicit values of patriarchal culture. Anti-SM feminists emphasize that patriarchy is replicated through SM practices because sadomasochism is a core structure of maledominated culture. They further their argument by positing that the underlying desires of replicating this female-oppressive power dynamic is driven by the internalized idea that women are sexual objects to use for pleasure (Ani and Barker 2005: 232). Secondly, anti-SM feminists respond to the pro-SM argument that says sadomasochism follows the feminist agenda because it is a consenting act (Linden 1982: 20). Precisely, they disagree with the notion of consent being used by feminists to support SM practices. Instead, they claim that consent is being used to justify the treatment of women as the second sex, and that female consent to certain patterns of male-domination does not prove that they are acting freely. Diana Russell writes that, “wanting or consenting to domination and humiliation does not make it non-oppressive. It merely demonstrates how deep and profound the oppression is” (Linden 1982: 14). The fact that a woman consents to the patterns of male domination imposed by SM doesn’t mean she’s engaging in a feminist activity, but rather that she has deeply internalized impressions of female oppression. Lastly, radical feminists against SM argue that not only does SM practice replicate patriarchal behaviors but it also ends up furthering it. They argue that by using consent as a feminist defense for practicing sadomasochism, pro-SM feminists are reinforcing, and even promoting the oppression of women (Chancer 2000: 80). In support of this argument, Hein writes that, “to degrade someone, even with that person’s expressed consent, is to endorse the degradation of persons. It is to affirm that the abuse of persons is acceptable for if some people may be humiliated and despised, all may be” (Linden 1982: 16). Feminists for SM Feminist SM advocates strongly reject any notion that they support or condone the symbolic and physical violence discussed by anti-SM feminists. As a matter of fact, they don’t even consider SM practices to be violent. Their response to anti-SM feminist arguments about mimicking structural female-oppression through SM practices is to claim that radicals have ‘no sense of context’ where sadomasochism is concerned (Hopkins 1994: 122). Furthermore, they argue that in their aim to disclose the omnipresent grip of patriarchy on every aspect of human experience, feminists against SM demonstrate that they ignore obvious differences in experience. In contrast to con-SM activists, pro-SM advocates use an interpretive lens to support the role of sadomasochism in feminism. Their defense is that SM sexual activity does not replicate patriarchal activity: it simulates it. For example, replication implies that SM merely reproduces patriarchal activity in a different physical area whereas simulation implies that it maps patriarchal behaviors onto a different contextual field (Hopkins 1994: 123). Sadomasochists do not rape, they do rape scenes. They do not kidnap, they do bondage scenes. Feminist SM supporters argue that scenes emphasize the engineering of SM as a performance (Hornsby 1999: 67). Most importantly, the simulation is acknowledged as such: SM participants know they are partaking in staged scenes. In addition, SM advocates argue that because of the simulative aspects of SM performance, the core features of real patriarchal violence are absent (Ani and Barker 2005: 235). In real rape situations, for example, the victim is not a participant: she is a non-consenting commodity. On the other hand, in a rape scene the participating victim is not a replication of a real rape victim: she is an actor. Furthermore, the scene “victim” is the negotiator. She has negotiated with her “rapist” before the scene to establish the production, duration and per- 59 Fields - Winter 2013 - formance of the “rape.” By establishing a safe word she holds the keys to halting and controlling how the scene develops once it has begun. The seemingly “oppressed” woman is in fact the hidden dominant architect of the sadomasochist performance. By emphasizing that the misconceived “oppressed” woman in a SM scene is the one wielding the power, pro-SM feminist rebut the argument that sadomasochism reinforces patriarchal values. In fact, they believe that SM as a performance supports the feminist agenda because it consciously transgresses conventional power relations and “parodies sexual relations considered as traditionally subjugating, oppressive and exploitative to women” (Chancer 2000: 83). Furthermore, by enabling women to take on such discretely powerful roles, SM actually presents as “ridiculing, undermining, exposing and destroying patriarchal power” (Ani and Barker 2005: 238). Deconstructing the feminist lens: A look at sexual discourse Although the pro-SM and con-SM feminists argue opposite sides of a debate, several consistencies exist in their used discourse. Both sides share rhetoric of control, patriarchal subordination and power but there is an absence of sex. In their charged debate, feminists arguing over SM practices make sexuality central to their discussion while omitting the concepts of sex and pleasure. Consequentially, a splitting between sex and sexuality develops where the debate of SM is concerned. In the remainder of this section I will attempt to use ideas from Foucault’s A History of Sexuality to analyze why sexual discourse is excluded from feminist debates on SM. I do so by first making feminist discourse a part of the greater discourse of SM and then by situating sadomasochism within Foucault’s analysis of homosexuality and sexuality. Contemporary sadomasochism has often been compared to nineteenth-century homosexuality: as a patholologized sexual minority (Stoller 1991: 23). Furthermore, both share similar absences in discourse; a sadomasochist is traditionally referred to as someone who enjoys receiving or inflicting pain and humiliation whereas a homosexual is traditionally referred to as someone who is attracted to the same sex. In both cases, neither sadomasochism nor homosexuality is defined with reference to sexual activity of any sort. In this sense, feminist discourse on SM, where mention of sexual acts is absent, falls into the greater SM discourse. If sexual activity is fundamental to both SM and homosexuality, why is it rarely mentioned in public discourse? I attempt to answer this question by paralleling SM with Foucault’s genealogical analysis of homosexuality. In A History of Sexuality, Volume 1, Foucault makes three claims about contemporary sexuality. First, he posits that sexuality is our most fundamental truth, it has functioned as an essence naming what lies at the root of any given human life and any given society; it is the foundation for subjectivity. Second, he claims that that this power is not under our control; we do not choose our sexuality, it chooses us and consequentially shapes who we are. Thus it poses a danger; we need to protect our sexuality yet be aware that it is as capable of destroying us as it is to create us. Hence, it becomes An object of great suspicion; the general and disquieting meaning that pervades our conduct and our existence, in spite of ourselves; the point of weakness where evil portents reach through to us; the fragment of darkness that we each carry within us: a general signification, a universal secret, an omnipresent cause, a fear that never ends. (Foucault 1978: 69) Third, Foucault claims that given that sexuality is our truth and that it endangers as surely as it enables, it should be taken as an object of epistemic investigation (McWhorther 1994: 45). Because of the power it holds, sexuality must be understood, and thus, known. All in all Foucault claims that sexuality is the name of 60 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - who we are. The fact that sexuality is a part of humanity will always be taken unproblematically; the fact that we are sexual beings is the basis of social interaction and the core of individual identity. For this reason, Foucault argues that we must affirm our sexuality by calling upon it to speak, thus managing it’s power through confessional discourse. By means of confession, Foucault argues that sexuality takes on an epistemological existence: one that serves as an object of knowledge. Thus, if sexuality is something that must be confessed, it becomes situated in a problematic of concealment and disclosure. If sexuality becomes something that must be drawn out, then the sexual subject is essentially a confessing subject (Foucault 1990). However, confession and confessional practices have been claimed by psychiatry, psychoanalysis, medicine, criminology and other disciplines, which affect the way “confessed” sexualities, thus the confessing and sexual subject, become visible (Leo 1005: 29). Following these ideas, Foucault traces the genealogy of homosexuality starting at the birth of its name. Homosexuality, like sadomasochism was coined in the nineteenth century. Also like sadomasochism, homosexuality first appeared as a form of deviancy (Stoller 1991: 31). We can argue that the term emerged this way because of the grasp psychoanalysis, psychiatry and medicine held on confession. These disciplines, securely framed within the discursive structure of “normalizing” science, led to the coinage of homosexuality (and SM) as a specific type of abnormality deviating from the developmental norm. Noted is the fact that this concept of health “normality” is a result of what Foucault calls “biopower.” The fact that homosexuality, like sadomasochism, was pathologized can be explained by the concept of biopower; it is within a biopower framework that sexuality becomes a matter of healthy functioning and where abnormal deviations to the sexual, healthy “norm” emerge as pathological categories (Carrette 2005: 15) Biopower explains the way homosexuality and sadomasochism came to emerge as pathologies, but the way they were reified and born into sexuality during the nineteenth-century explains the absence of sexual discourse. Sexual practices were reified in the nineteenth century although a variety existed before then. It is only in the later part of the century that “what was suddenly conceived along the axis of activity was reconceived along the axis of identity” (McWhorther 1994: 50). Whereas the sodomite was “but the juridical subject of forbidden acts,” the homosexual emerged as A personage, a past, a case history, and a childhood, in addition to being a type of life, a life form, and a morphology, with an indiscreet anatomy and possibly a mysterious physiology. Nothing that went into his total composition was unaffected by his sexuality. It was everywhere present in him: at the root of all his actions because it was their insidious and indefinitely active principle; written immodestly on his face and body because it was a secret that always gave itself away. (Foucault 1978: 43) While the sexual act of sodomization made someone an outlaw and a sinner, the homosexual was a reified pathology. The sodomite was seen as such because of his sexual actions whereas the homosexual was pathologized regardless of his sexual acts (McWhorther 1994: 52). In this sense, the sexual act is seen as a manifestation of, and thus is included in, the homosexual’s pathologized sexuality; a separate discourse on sexual acts is rendered unnecessary. In this sense, discourse surrounding homosexuality was aimed at one’s sexuality, or persona, as opposed to the acts the homosexual engaged in: the homosexual, as a sexual identity, was being addressed. Similar conventions apply to feminist discourse surrounding SM. Feminists cling to the concept of the “sadomasochist” more so than to sexual SM acts themselves. For example, attacks and defenses of SM practices manifest themselves in power discourse as opposed to sexual discourse. By 61 Fields - Winter 2013 - omitting sex from their discourse, feminists exhibit the imbedded cultural conceptions of sexuality: that sexuality is the core of some peoples’ identity, and thus should be their defining aspect (as opposed to the sexual acts that accompany the sexuality) (Carrette 2005: 13). Thus, the sadomasochist, not the sexual acts of SM, comes to be discussed. In the nineteenthcentury sadomasochism emerges as a form of deviance where the sadomasochist comes to be seen as an individual defined by a perverse sexuality. This concept of pathologization and deviance is attached to the sexuality of an individual, not to their specific sexual acts. Furthermore, the feminist agenda encourages the lack of sexual discourse surrounding SM. The feminist agenda has traditionally been concerned with exposing and removing the subordination of women caused by embedded patriarchal ideals in society: an issue essentially dealing with power (Linden 1982: 137). Feminists against SM attack the sadomasochist’s desire to be humiliated and subordinated. They contend that these desires are evidence of internalized ideals that women are sexual objects from which to derive pleasure from. Therefore, it is one’s sadomasochistic sexuality they are critiquing: the sexual identity, or personage, is the center of the attack, not the sexual acts themselves. Similarly, pro-SM feminists defend sadomasochism because it represents a desire to simulate power inequalities as opposed to recreate them fully; they do so by, again, excluding sexual discourse from the debate. I thus conclude that sexual discourse is absent from feminist debates on SM because sadomasochistic sexual identity, not the sexual acts that it entails, is the center of the problematic. Conclusion In this essay I have attempted to bring to light several issues concerning contemporary manifestations of sadomasochism. I first set out to trace the emergence of SM as a ‘sexual culture’ by applying Sisson’s sexual formation model to sadomasochism. Secondly, I argued that one of the contemporary manifestations of SM takes form in the practice of pain and power play as a means of escapism. 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Social Problems 31(4): 379-89. 63 Fields - Assessing the pulse of the contemporary Russian state Diana Kontsevaia It is in the realm of symbolic production that the grip of the state is felt most powerfully. —Pierre Bourdieu (1998) By understanding the causal factors behind changes in symbolic politics, we can understand the processes and the likelihood of...regime change. —Eric McGlinchey (2011) Symbolic analysis of authoritarian control Winter 2013 - Introduction What sets authoritarian countries apart from other kinds of states? It is not that the people who live in these countries do not ultimately want to have equal human rights. Perhaps it is the institutions that are somehow different in liberal countries as opposed to the authoritarian ones. However, an institutional answer is still not enough to explain why the citizens of those countries do not simply create other, more democratic, institutions. There must be something that affects citizen choices that is deeper and less tangible that explains the degree of state control over its population. This project rose out of these musings, as well as out of the simple desire to, as Eric McGlinchey put it, “assess the pulse of authoritarianism” (McGlinchey 2011:134). To truly assess the “pulse” of an authoritarian state control, it is imperative to pay attention to much more than institutions and their function within society. State control, while being coercive, is also in constant search for legitimization from the population. As much as it seeks to control the population, it also aims to pacify it. To that extent it deploys many different control mechanisms. Specifically pertinent to the understanding of why people do not simply create the “ideal” institutions is paying attention to the symbolic structures of the society. The “pulse,” after all, consists of a continual string of tiny beats that combine together. Similarly, symbolic structures can be seen as producing little pieces that eventually become big enough to construct other parts of society. Societal structures, therefore, can be viewed as being created through combining several smaller symbols into bigger symbolic compounds that inform a person’s everyday existence. Although symbols can be produced by anyone, from individuals to families to schools, there is overarching symbolic material that creates the basis for how society operates. This material makes the world make sense. The state governments and state leaders are especially well poised for creating widespread symbolic material, since they have access to things like education and revenue. One of the most important tools a state can use to create and deploy its symbolic content is by using mass media (Chesebro & Bertelsen 1996:51). While symbolic content is spread through the mass media in liberal countries as well, an authoritarian country is much more likely to use media to spread very specific type of content. Authoritarian governments operate not only through the systems of direct control, therefore, but they also strive for a monopoly on controlling symbols. These governments will deploy forms of symbolic control in order to legitimize their rule. They are the actors best positioned to deploy their own controlling conceptualization of the world. Furthermore, symbolic capital, once worked into the social fabric is much harder to dismantle 64 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - and forget—suggesting an answer as to why people do not simply build their “ideal” institutions.1 The purpose of this paper is thus to explicate the dynamics of symbolic control in authoritarian regimes. Specifically, the paper will investigate the symbolic structure of the contemporary Russian Federation. Since Russia is a fairly broad topic on its own, the concentration will be on the symbolic content produced by the media (mostly broadcast media), as one of the currently and most accessible forms of communication with the Russian population. Through attention to the Russian media discourse, it is possible to understand the symbolic control of the Russian state by paying attention to the symbolic structures that constitute the daily reality of many Russians. The argument is presented in two parts, although themes of authoritarianism, Russia, and mass media permeate the entire paper. The first half of the paper relies heavily on Pierre Bourdieu’s theories as it explores symbolic production in relation to the state. In this section, the state creation of symbolic capital and differences between direct and symbolic forms of control are first explained. Then, the paper examines the role of symbolic capital in different fields, and specifically the role of symbols in an authoritarian setting. The second half of the paper analyzes the symbolic content of contemporary Russian media, looking at the dynamics between the media and the state and their impact on the Russian society as a whole. This section specifically examines mass media in the post-socialist period after the disintegration of the USSR in 1991. It focuses on the way the state used media to produce new symbols, recreate historical ones, and limited unfavorable symbols to ensure its continued legitimacy. Finally, using the current symbolic structures permeating the Russian society (many of which were propagated by the Russian state), the controversy behind the sentencing of the members of the punk rock group Pussy Riot is analyzed. The recent changes and the pulse of the Russian society are thus observed through the production of symbolic content. Symbolic production and symbolic control Symbolic capital and the creation of symbols Societies are structured in a specific way to prevent complete chaos. Structure implies an inherent hierarchy and some system of control. This paper will distinguish between two types of control: direct and symbolic. Direct control can generally be traced through an obvious political or economic relationship. For example, if a regime purchases a media station, it will directly control its internal affairs, pay its taxes, and profit from its revenues. Direct control comprises the spaces in society that are controlled by certain authorities. Symbolic control is less tangible. It does not concern itself with direct ownership of property or profits, though it can affect both. In contrast to direct control, symbolic control determines the way a society conceives of certain things. Drawing on the theories of Pierre Bourdieu (1998:32-3), symbolic control can influence what people agree with or approve of by structuring how people think. There is no one permanent “authority” or source of symbolic control, though certain actors are certainly better positioned to employ this source of power (Bourdieu 1998:38). At the most basic level, societies become characterized by the symbols that are produced in everyday life. Certain symbols will have more impact depending on who is propagating them, and with what resources. Symbols become the “structures of structures” of societies (Bourdieu 1990:52); they are the way people conceive of events, which then inform how these events should be interpreted. While symbols can be consciously chosen by the population, ultimately, the structures that are formed are comprised of several layers, as different agents create different symbols. The question then becomes who creates the symbols that are widely available and consequently 65 Fields - Winter 2013 - entrenched in society? Whichever actor is able to successfully deploy their symbols, therefore, can potentially influence the way people conceive of things, and thus influence what is and is not socially acceptable. The symbolic systems that are consequently produced aggregate into “classification systems built upon the fundamental logic of inclusion and exclusion” (Swartz 1997:84). The logic of inclusion and exclusion is very well utilized by governmental institutions. Notably, Bourdieu (1998) argued that the state is one of the best actors equipped to manipulate symbols. Since it has control over a considerable amount of different kinds of capital and as a result can regulate multiple fields, the state can deploy a considerable amount of symbolic capital because of the volume of venues it controls as opposed to a regular individual. In a sense, the “state has the monopoly on the legitimate physical and symbolic violence” (Bourdieu 1998:33). As a result of this monopoly, the state becomes a holder of “metacapital”, able to delegate its wishes onto others and granting power to other kinds of actors as it pleases (Bourdieu 1998:41). When the state does succeed in accumulating enough “metacapital,” however, it can begin to use it. Ideally, political capital, or the capital that political bodies possess, will be used in the political field, journalistic capital in the journalistic field, and so on. Symbolic capital is composed of all other kinds of capital as symbolic meaning can be created from every day happenings, in any type of circumstances. Symbolic capital is thus created after a value has been consistently given to it by other social agents (Bourdieu 1998:47). This is a tension that the state itself has to resolve: while producing legitimizing symbolic structures, it has to produce content that is still acceptable to the population. This will become more evident in the second portion of the paper with the state having to deploy new symbols, but also maintain historical continuity with what it means to be “Russian”. Nevertheless, using symbolic forms can help legitimatize power as certain values become accepted and thereafter maintained (Swartz 1997:92). It is pertinent to note that for Bourdieu (1998), the symbolic control by the state immediately amounts to symbolic violence, since control by the state is not an appropriate way to operate in democratic state. While symbolic control happens in every society and can be deployed by different actors, this paper will refer to symbolic control and symbolic violence as cases where the state is consciously manipulating the perceptions of its population. This can be done through coercive methods, but also through controlling other fields and their capital, thereby limiting production of alternative symbolic meanings. Both concepts essentially imply that the state has a hold on the production of meaning by other fields. Bourdieu’s fields Specific forms of capital may be accumulated or used to influence different fields of activity (Bourdieu 1998:41). The fields are protected by a certain amount of capital that is needed prior entering or manipulating the field. For example, one cannot be a journalist without first understanding how a journalist behaves any more than one can immediately become a politician; the required social and cultural capitals must be possessed first (Bourdieu 2005 :30). Therefore, accumulating capital allows entry into different fields, which in turn allows manipulation (or development) of that field. Since the state has access to the most forms of capital, it would follow that it also has the most power of manipulation over various fields (Bourdieu 1998:34). In some instances, this includes not only the political or economic fields, but also the journalistic field. If the state co-opts the journalists, it gains control over the journalistic field. The journalistic field can have political or economic characteristics but it does not mean that it enters the 66 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - political field. The fields are quite separate, yet in reality they must interact. Bourdieu does not thoroughly explain the interaction between the political and journalistic fields (Benson 2005:93), though he does state that all are susceptible to the state and the distribution of symbolic capital. Rodney Benson (2005) notes the gap in interaction between the journalistic and political fields left by Bourdieu. He resolves this dilemma by suggesting that while the state does have greater access to the fields, it exercises those powers in two distinct ways: either by being “restrictive” or by being “enabling” (Benson 2005:93). An “enabling” political-journalistic relationship entails that the state actively tries to expand the discourses available to the public, through financial or technical support (Benson 2005:93). “Restrictive” power, on the other hand, “limits access to or certain publication of information or opinion” (Benson 2005:93). In his discussion, Benson (2005) concentrates on two fairly democratic countries: France and the United States. France’s media may be enabling, since the state provides some funding for small but specialized newspapers, yet it can also be restrictive in that certain practices are not tolerated, such as the violation of personal privacy laws (Benson 2005:94). Therefore, the state exerts its power onto the journalistic field by deploying either direct (economic) or more symbolic forms of control (appealing to the First Amendment of free speech, for example). The question then becomes, does the relationship between journalistic and political fields change, depending on the type of regime? Authoritarian control in the journalistic field Since the state institutions are created to have more direct control over certain fields, is there a difference in the use of symbolic power in authoritarian regimes as opposed to other kinds of regimes? Would a democratic government differ from an authoritarian government in its use of symbolic control? According to Bourdieu (1998), the mechanism of the state’s symbolic control is the same regardless of the nature of the state. Bourdieu would decidedly answer no to the above questions, since “for Bourdieu, the mechanisms of power delegation operate the same way in the totalitarian Soviet Union as in democratic France” (Kauppi 2004:328). Though power delegation may operate the same way, is there a difference in the specific use of symbols to produce different effects on the population? Bourdieu’s (1998) discussion lacks such a differentiation. Bourdieu’s political fields operate according to a binary logic. There are challengers and there are incumbents (Kauppi 2004:328). The “political games” of the society then play out within this political field, between these two groups. It is within this political field that political agents “attempt to monopolize the legitimate means of manipulating the social world. They compete with journalists and social scientists in the struggle for the “monopoly of legitimate symbolic violence” (Kauppi 2004:321). Imagining the political field as binary, however, is problematic because it assumes that the incumbents do have challengers in the first place. In authoritarian states there is a lack of strong challengers; all the challengers are extremely weak as they are effectively repressed. Bourdieu would likely reply that the political incumbents exist in opposition to the rest of the society. This would contradict his idea, however, that the political mechanism is such that the “profane” are completely subjugated to the delegate (Kauppi 2004:328). In other words, the people are assumed to willingly submit to the “state” power, while simultaneously being “the opposition.” This contradiction is important to note, since it leaves room in Bourdieu’s (1998) theory of symbolic violence for differentiation of regime type. Different types of states will have different amounts of control over the population, depending on how strong or weak the “challengers” are in the 67 Fields - Winter 2013 - political field. If the challengers are weak, the government will possess much more symbolic control over the population. The symbolic control over mass media in a strong state can then be understood along the relationship between its “restrictive” and “enabling” policy qualities. In an authoritarian state, what is restricted is at the same time enabled by the government (and it is the only thing enabled). This suggests that there can be “degrees” of state coercion. The journalistic field, then, interacts with other fields depending on the relationship between restrictive and enabling. Examining the degree of state coercion in the journalistic fields (or the state’s media policy), clarifies the relationship between the journalistic and the political fields. Since media are the most effective way to reach the population, establishing this relationship is crucial to understanding how symbolic material is transmitted and what impressions the society is left with. To understand how state media can produce the “structure of structure” of the society, let us examine a case where the state has recently had to produce an altogether new set of symbols for the society to follow. Symbolic development in post-Soviet Russia — What is the difference between Pravda (Truth) and Izvestiya (News)? —There’s no news in Pravda and no truth in Izvestiya.2 Overview of Russian broadcast media The state’s capacity to produce symbols is witnessed most dramatically in the transformation of the Russian state. The disintegration of the USSR was not just the end of a communist state that created a need for the transition to a new form of government. The disintegration meant that the entrenched Soviet symbolic structures had to be discarded. Therefore, alongside the creation of the new government and a new economy, a whole set of new symbolic structures were produced, while old So- viet symbols either disappeared or changed. The Russian government has always used the media as a tool to distribute its expectations to the rest of the population. While state control of the media qualifies as a form of direct control, they also used their resources to distribute symbolic content to the population. The extreme of controlling media and transferring symbolic content was demonstrated during the Soviet Union, when the state media were used specifically as a means to deliver communist propaganda to the population. Culture was often designated to play an ideological role (Beumers 2005:10-11). Even after the disintegration of the USSR, however, the Russian Federation has persistently had trouble with independent media (Dunn 2008:42). Following the disintegration of the USSR and Gorbachev’s glasnost’ policies, it is sometimes assumed that the media became free and liberal, and continued to be so until Putin’s presidency. While the media did experience liberation compared to the previous regime’s policies, it did not remain independent for long. The Russian media can really only be considered the fourth estate during the period between 1990 and 1995 (Arutunyan 2009:4243). By 1993, politicians realized that the ownership of the media played such a crucial role that they began competing over its control. In September 1993, during the parliamentary elections, popularly elected president, Boris Yeltsin, disbanded the elected parliament and shut down one of the primary broadcast towers in Ostankino during the deliberations. For the first time since the new president took his seat, the public understanding and transparency of governmental proceedings became limited (Arutunyan 2009:70). By December 1993, the first multiparty elections took place, during which the media played a central role. For the first time in seventy years, people could actually choose their political leaders. However in order to choose among candidates, the pop- 68 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - ulation turned to their televisions. As a result, creating a media persona became critical for politicians (Beumers 2005:16). The fact that people had greater access to diversified information, however, was not yet proof that they had access to objective information. By 1996, the Russian media hit financial problems and Russian oligarchs came to the rescue; the two biggest media owners became Boris Berezovky, who gained control of the channel ORT, and Vladimir Gusinsky, who bought NTV. The third largest channel, RTR, remained under the ownership of the state. ORT, NTV, and RTR are the most watched and accessible broadcast channels in Russia (Arutunyan 2009:18). These acquisitions, however, did not indicate that the information disseminated through the channels would be objective (not in the true “journalistic” sense anyway). The diversity of political opinions soon began to reflect the opinions of the channel owners themselves. As a result, between 1997 and 2000, “information wars” began between the two oligarchs as well as the government (Dunn 2008:46). Each controlled the flow of information as they saw fit and according to their own political views. When both oligarchs saw it as beneficial to support President Yeltsin in 1996, the puppets from NTV’s popular satirical show Kukly paid a visit to the most watched game show on ORT, Pole Chudes (Wheel of Fortune), to endorse the President (Dunn 2008:47). The wars primarily resulted in Russian television becoming “hyper-politicized”, so that political coverage became akin to football games in Western Europe: Whereas the outcome of a competition for ownership of television rights to football means merely that those who want to watch certain football matches have to pay money to a particular provider, monopoly ownership of political rights has serious consequences for the survival of functioning democracy. (Dunn 2008:47) The oligarchs were playing political football by sponsoring their own political opinions, not really facilitating the development of a truly free fourth estate. Eventually, the state realized that it had lost control over much of the media. Once Putin came to power in 2000, he slowly co-opted the Russian mass media back under the state’s influence, first by proclaiming that the oligarchs were “clever people” who learned how to manipulate people’s opinions through the mass media (Dunn 2008:52). Although the media were indeed previously under the influence of the opinions of the oligarchs, there was still more plurality and freedom of expression than after the state acquired the channels. The new limits to freedom of expression are best represented in what happened to NTV’s satirical humorous show Kukly (“puppets”). The show, based on a similar British concept, existed to directly criticize politicians and their decisions. After its episode called “Birth of Putin”, however, the creator, Vladimir Shenderovich, faced increasing pressure to tone down his critical political messages (Shenderovich 2002:26-27). As Shenderovich, along with other journalists working for NTV, ignored the regime’s requests, the state decided to take over the channel altogether (Shenderovich 2002:57). NTV was suddenly facing economic losses and was unable to pay back its governmental loan when the state requested it back in 2001 (Burrett 2008:80). As a result, the state took over the channel (using purely economic methods) and then quietly fired certain journalists and ended certain programs on the channel—including Shenderovich and his program Kukly (Dunn 2008:45). This became the end of any plurality on the Russian television, as most public channels were now owned by the Russian government. Symbolic production after the disintegration of the USSR The Russian state’s increased control over public broadcast media venues is indicative 69 Fields - Winter 2013 - of its capacity to leave the political field and enter the journalistic field, while deploying specific symbolic capital. There are two ways to explore the change of symbolic structure in Russian society following the fall of the Soviet Union. The first is to pay attention to the new symbols transmitted through the media in the early 1990s as a result of the transition to capitalism and the market economy. These symbols are what the state “enabled” the media to broadcast. The new attitudes towards capitalism allowed Russians to conceptualize their society and identity differently than previously allowed by the Soviet state. The “enabled” symbols also comprise of historical symbols that were re-made by the Russian state to fit the contemporary society. These symbols, such as adhesion to the Orthodox Church and continued independence from the West, serve the purpose of creating a continuation between the state and the historical Russianness to provide more legitimacy and continuation of the regime. The second set of symbols can be observed through understanding the current goals of the state. This will rely on observing what is “restricted” in the contemporary Russian media discourse, specifically which programs are not allowed and what information is “right” to have. Though the two mechanisms of symbolic production are somewhat chronologically related, some of the symbols created in the early 1990s still permeate Russian society today. Ultimately, both sets of symbols serve the same motivations, which are exactly what differentiates contemporary Russia from a liberal state: the journalistic field is not independent but merely a tool of the political field. The symbols deployed using mass media are intended to legitimize the Russian regime, by limiting the population’s grasp on the political field, while also creating a new sense of what it means to be Russian. This discussion will end with an analysis of the recent trial of a punk rock group, with a focus on symbolic struc- tures that the Russian state created to explain the trial and its outcome. A whole new system of meaning: Symbols from the state As mentioned above, after the disintegration of USSR, the symbolic structure of the communist ideological state had to be discarded. Instead, new symbolic capital was deployed in order to shift to a more commercialized culture. In short, “the new consumer culture leveled Russian culture with Western culture” (Beumers 2005:12). To this end, the Russian state, for the sake of transitioning to the new market economy, had to create a new consumer culture. As it created new “capitalist subjects”, however, it also created a new conception of what it meant to be a Russian man and woman. As new conception of the new Russia was created, however, only certain symbols from the Soviet era were kept, while others, like the Stalin Myth, were completely disregarded. As a result of breaking with the Soviet era, the post-communist elites used the mass media as a way of preparing people for the new market system. The most popular show in Russian media history is also the one that was designed to aid this transition: ORT’s Pole Chudes (literally: “Field of Miracles”). Pole Chudes is essentially a modified version of the Western “Wheel of Fortune” game show. It is based on a fairly simple scenario that has not changed since the conception of the show, over twenty years ago. Three contestants spin a large wheel and guess the letters of a phrase for prizes. Depending on which slot the wheel lands on, the contestants can take all of their prizes immediately, continue playing, or risk guessing the entire phrase. Since there are at least three ways to win a prize, this show offers a greater opportunity to win than its Western counterparts (Vassilieva & Bennett 2012:791). In this sense, it helps demonstrate the positive values of capitalism and legitimize consumer- 70 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - ism: people should want things and should go out and buy them (Vassilieva & Bennett 2012:789). The real entertainment factor of the show, however, is not only the prizes won, but the gifts that the contestants give to the beloved host Leonid Yakubovich, who has been the host of the show since its conception. Today, the gifts have accumulated to the extent that an entire museum was opened to store them. The museum is now located in an exhibition hall that was used to showcase the “Achievements of the National Economy” during the Soviet years, ironically comparing the gifts with the achievements of the new economy (Vassilieva & Bennett 2012:790). After twenty years of popularity and uninterrupted air time, the show succeeded in instilling the concern for money in the Russian population. The promotion of certain symbols, such as the concern for money, then began to be internalized by the population. The way people conceived of the “Russian identity” began to change. As opposed to the former Soviet Man” and “Soviet Woman”, the increasing concern for money created the “New Russian Man” and “New Russian Woman” (Oushakine 2001:71). Serguei Oushakine (2001) conducted a survey in April 1997 given to upper high school students researched the students’ perception of the society and their memories of the Soviet experience. The students’ responses repeatedly referred to money, acquisition of money, and consumption. “Consumption was seen as one of the most—if not the very most – important among the indicators of personal and social success” (Oushakine 2001:71). The New Russian man was successful, had a lot of money and could buy a lot of things. The New Russian Woman, on the other hand, did not have to work and had to only depend on the husband’s money. In this sense, the capitalist symbols deployed after the disintegration of the USSR (through TV shows like Pole Chudes), created an ideology of excess and formed the conception of the “New Russian”, where the ability to buy commodities was the prime indicator of success. Despite the obvious affinity to buy commodities, however, the survey also indicated that the “New Russians” were judged based on the quantity of the things they could buy, rather than the quality (Oushakine 2001:88). The emphasis on quantity is interpreted as a remnant of Soviet thrift: buy as many things as possible while you are able to. While certain Soviet tendencies persist, however, other old communist symbols are beginning to weaken. Analyzing the “Stalin myth”, Boris Dubin (2010) argues that the population is becoming more apathetic towards its Soviet past. The “Stalin Myth” creates an idea of Joseph Stalin as the savior of the country and the victor of the Great Patriotic War. Whereas before he was seen as the great national leader and inspired a large following, nowadays the myth is dying. Stalin is not only increasingly judged for his horrors, but there is also a fair amount of apathy towards him especially from the younger generation. Dubin sees a decline of desire to even know Soviet history within the current third generation post-Stalin population. This change suggests a symbolic shift in the population’s perceptions of what history to learn (Dubin 2010:52-53). This may be because the state has abandoned the promotion of that myth in any shape whatsoever, as it began to deploy new symbolic structures to aid in the transition of the country. State-maintained symbols A complete break from Russia’s historical symbols was, of course, impossible. The change in the symbolic structure was bound to have an uncertain effect on the population. Whereas previously the Soviet population was defined by anti-capitalism and the importance of the communist spirit, the new Russian identity contained elements of capitalism. The New Russian Men and Women replaced the Soviet Women and Men. Thus, while searching for the new factors of the “Russian identity”, some 71 Fields - Winter 2013 - old symbols were revitalized. Notably, the Orthodox Church was re-introduced as the “Russian” faith. The Russian identity also could not be completely conflated with the West, as is evident in the continued emphasis on Russia’s independence (or difference) from the West. The Russian Orthodox Church has always been an inherent part of the Russian identity. Even Dostoevsky said that “to be Russian is to be Orthodox” (Simons 2004:8). It is no wonder, then, that after the disintegration of the USSR, the state once again relied on the Orthodox Church for some symbolic capital. The fact that the Church possesses a small following, and therefore a fairly small amount of political capital, only further suggests that the Russian state is using the Orthodox Church in a more symbolic way rather than as a means to directly control the population (Mitrokhin 2004:235). While between 50-75% of the population identifies themselves as Russian Orthodox (Simons 2004:19), only approximately 10% of the population actively practices the religion (Tarusin 2006:354). Since people identify as Russian Orthodox, but do not actually practice the religion, this suggests that the Orthodox identity may be merely cultural rather than religious. With a small following, the Church itself, as an institution, still has limited influence over the population. Nevertheless, the state’s relationship with the Orthodox Church has been strengthening since the 1990s (Simons 2004:32). Starting with the return of some of the church’s confiscated property and ending with Putin designating the church as the chief moral authority, the Church’s importance has been rising. Although the full importance of the Church as a form of symbolic capital is best illustrated in the Pussy Riot trial examined in a later part of this paper, it is first beneficial to examine the relationship between the church and state, and specifically how the Church is yet another instrument of the state’s symbolic control. The need to strengthen the Russian identity after the collapse of the Soviet identity was one of the motivators for returning to its “roots”. Choosing to rely on the Orthodox Church was a way of maintaining the distinctly Russian elements in the new symbols created (Warhola 2007:94). The Russian state’s choice of the Orthodox Church as the remaining Russian element is evident not only by designating it as the moral authority of the country, but also returning some of the Church’s confiscated property. It is the only Church in Russia whose property has been returned since the end of the USSR (Simons 2004:19), with expensive displays of support, such as the state-funded reconstruction of the seat of the Orthodox patriarchate, the Cathedral of the Christ the Savior.3 The project was first headed by President Yeltsin (Simons 2004:19). The Cathedral was rebuilt to look exactly like the one destroyed in the 1930s under Stalin’s rule. The manner in which the project was conducted suggests a way of showing the population that the Soviet disregard for religion had ended, and that the Orthodox Church should continue to play a key role in the Russian identity (Simons 2004:60). Just how much meaning the Cathedral has gained since it was rebuilt is evident from the way the authorities reacted to the Pussy Riot protest. While the state chose to associate itself with the Orthodox Church in order to create a continuation with a historical Russian identity, it had no intention of sharing its political power. This is evident in that as much “goodwill” as the state showed by giving back some confiscated property, it also kept a fair amount of property under its own supervision, despite the Church demanding it back (Warhola 2007:80). This rather shows the capability on the part of the Russian state to control the Orthodox Church economically. This in turn reveals that the state can control the symbols that the population publicly receives: only certain churches will be rebuilt (presumably the most visible ones) to communicate which religion is 72 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - sanctioned by the state. The government itself, however, was in no way interested in sharing its political or economic power. Moreover, the state did not end its support of the Orthodox Church after rebuilding its destroyed properties, the Kazan’ Cathedral located on the Red Square was rebuilt alongside the Cathedral of the Christ the Savior. After Yeltsin, President Putin continued to create a close relationship between the Church and the state. This relationship, however, is not being created because of mutual spiritual belief. Orthodoxy’s role is conceived of as purely cultural in Putin’s administration and the close collaboration between church and state is yet another tool of control for the Russian government (Papkova 2007:119). This should come as no surprise, especially since Putin has a preference for organizations that, at their very heart, value a strong state and carry nationalistic and traditional Russian values (Evans 2005:149). On many occasions since coming to power, Putin has designated the Orthodox Church as the sole “moral” authority for the new Russian population (Evans 2005:150). In 2006, the extension of the “moral authority” and the emphasis of the Orthodox identity went as far as to introduce the “Basics of Orthodox Religion” as a required course in every public school in Russia (Warhola 2007:83). While Putin supports the Orthodox Church and the “Russianness” that it creates, he still demands financial dependence of the institutions on the state. Putin also specifically dislikes any organizations that acquire foreign funding (Evans 2005:149). This may be due to the second set of symbols that the state is striving to maintain: its independence from the West. Emphasizing the independent Russian identity was historically very important to Russia, which was an identity that was always torn between the West and the East. The feeling that Russia needs to be independent from the West was present in Russia throughout its history and is pres- ent in contemporary Russia as well. The end of the USSR created a need for new symbols, and though some were inspired by the West (like the creation of money-concerned subjects); there still was a desire to do things the “Russian” way. After the initial shock of the end of the USSR in 1991, 49% of the Russian population thought that they should be more “Western” (Vorontsova & Filatov 1997:17). A year later 70% thought that Russia needed to find its own unique way (Ibid). In fact, the rise of the “New Russian,” as described above, was partly due to the ambiguous space between creating a capitalist “Western” society and creating something distinctly Russian. Furthermore, Putin came into office “promising to restore Russia’s domestic stability, national pride and international standing” (Burrett 2008:73). He has not failed in this regard, as his administration constantly tries to limit the amount of foreign help, influence and exposure the Russian population receives. Putin himself has become a symbol of resistance to the West. Although Russia is currently viewed as a decaying power whose authoritarian president would be disregarded in any other context, Putin’s image has managed to transcend not only his own person but also Russia’s real international power (Lukyanov 2009:120). Thus Putin has succeeded, in a way, in restoring Russia’s “international standing”, albeit only through his own image by becoming the man who can stand up to the adversaries of the Russian nation. While trying to actively “stand up” to the West, however, the Russian state also employs Western symbols as part of its new identity and goals for development. This presents a tension: on the one hand the state is encouraging the spread of capitalist symbols. On the other hand, they are maintaining other historical symbols in order to make the transition in a distinctly “Russian” way – or, specifically, in a “non-Western” way. While using Western ideas, the state is simultaneously trying to 73 Fields - Winter 2013 - downplay its western properties, presumably to secure legitimacy for the administration and “deliver” its electoral promises. This tension is curiously illustrated by the re-adopted national symbol of the double-headed eagle. The symbol was used prior to the 1917 Revolution, and was thereafter brought back by President Yeltsin as the national symbol in 1991. Although the new national symbol draws on the historical past and attempts to create continuity for the truly Russian state, the double-headed eagle has changed in meaning (Khrushcheva 2010:37). The symbol was conceived during the Roman Empire to symbolize control over the West and the East. In contemporary Russia, however, the symbol is a source of confusion as to where Russia belongs. While the Russian state attempts to achieve its economic independence from the West ironically by deploying capitalist symbols, becoming a mirror of the West is not something most Russians want. Russia is stuck between looking west and looking east, just like their new state symbol. Imposing limits on the creation of unfavorable symbols As the state produced certain symbols that complied with the transition, it also began to limit other symbols in order to legitimize and consolidate its own power. This is most obvious in limiting the political involvement of the population, specifically by occupying the journalistic field and cancelling politically-oriented programs such as Kukly. In spheres where it is a lot harder to control the political involvement of the citizens directly, such as the Internet, the state is finding other ways of establishing its influence. There is a new emphasis on production of the “right” kind of information on the Internet, either through state-distributed information, or through encouraging writers to produce a certain kind of content. The best and most widely known example of such a “limit” would be the banning of Kukly. This has already been briefly discussed above; however, the example serves as a fruitful way to examine how Russia’s politicians began affecting the journalistic field (as conceptualized by Bourdieu) in order to produce biased information. In the case of Kukly, the state intentionally banned the production of satirical information. In other words, Kukly was not disseminating the sort of information that the state wished its population to see. Information that would criticize the state was no longer to be broadcasted – the media was to only produce non-political information and concentrate on entertainment rather than commentary. The Russian state has, of course, been intervening in the media for so long that many Russian journalists often find it hopeless to oppose its control. Many have become accustomed to the widespread corruption that is part of the profession. In an interview, one of the prominent reporters in 2000, Irina Petrovskaya expresses a lot of pessimism towards fixing the problem of corruption due to journalists’ constant tendency to “sell out” (Volkov 2000:414). Meanwhile, new students of journalism often associate mere journalistic “professionalism” with corruption; political control is inevitable among journalists (Pasti 2008:113). Therefore, the current Russian society actually lacks an independent “journalistic field” altogether. It is constantly permeated by the state’s interests, as it not only seeks to exert its economic capital, but to control the kind of content that is communicated to the Russian people. Moreover, it has become normal to the Russian journalists that this is how journalism operates in Russia. The control of content is not limited to broadcast media. In recent years, there has been an increase in the attempts at controlling other media venues, such as the Internet. The widespread availability of state-controlled media, coupled with the limits placed on external media outlets, and the limited availability of Internet in the peripheries of the country, has resulted in a “two-tier information 74 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - society,” where 80% of the population only has access to state-controlled content (Dunn 2008:52). The Russian state is now becoming aware of the influence and freedom that the Internet provides to those who have access. Similar to its control of state media outlets, the government seeks to deploy its symbolic capital through Internet outlets as well. While the Internet provides users with significantly greater freedom to choose content, there are still ways for a user to be exposed to state messages without actively searching for them (Rimskii 2010:26-27). Despite the obvious obstacles, the Russian government began to influence Internet content as well. Instead of trying to control the Internet directly, which is impossible due to infrastructure costs and speed of information transfer, the regime has decided to “enhance its own Internet presence so that the amount of the ‘right information’ outweighs the amount of the ‘wrong information’” (Strukov 2008:218). As part of this strategy, the Russian president has created his own promotional website and uses it to strengthen his image. Additionally, since 2007, President Putin has been meeting with young writers, poets and script writers, to suggest and explain what kind of information and content are desirable. Although official announcements assert that these meetings exist to ensure that literature has “taste, creativity and teaches people how to think” (Strukov 2008:220), the productions will only receive funding and recognition from the government if the “right” information is communicated.4 Moreover, the “right” information should, of course, be apolitical. The state prefers to expose citizens to non-political content and inform them of political decisions only after the decisions have been made, thus limiting civil involvement in decision making (Rimskii 2010:28).This approach is similar to the policies the state employed on the broadcast media: the ban of Kukly and promotion of Pole Chudes. Symbolic capital in the media is thus controlled by the state by both enabling completely new or re-created historical information and restricting other forms of expression. The content produced, however, structures how people perceive their daily world. On the one hand, the content perpetuates certain old communist tendencies, such as purchasing in bulk. On the other hand, careful planning dictates what information the New Russians should receive. While attempting to transition to a new economy and a new political system, the state encouraged the production of programs that aid in this endeavor, such as Pole Chudes. Meanwhile, they limited critical information communicated through programs such as Kukly. Specifically, different trajectories of the television programs such as Kukly and Pole Chudes outline the symbols that the state tried to preserve. The shows were broadcasted on stations owned by oligarchs, and both were, to some extent, used to express the political views of their respective owners. Both shows also aimed to entertain, though one did so rather satirically. The cancellation of Kukly and the impressive longevity of Pole Chudes thus indicate which symbolic structures the state wanted to preserve: the creation of Russian consumers as capitalist participants, instead of subjects that are openly critical of the government and its leaders. The state has achieved this by narrowing the gap between the political and journalistic fields, and is most recently aiming to do the same through online literary channels. Pussy Riot and symbolic production in contemporary Russia The symbolic patterns outlined above can also be seen in contemporary Russian news. The Russian 2012 elections were at first considered to be a straightforward affair. Vladimir Putin was running for president and he was going to win. In December 2011, things became more interesting when a newcomer, the independent Russian billionaire Mikhail 75 Fields - Winter 2013 - Prokhorov, entered the presidential race. Although it was still obvious that Putin was going to win, Prokhorov at least tried to challenge the existing political system. By February 2012, Prokhorov was no longer the one making headlines, however. In fact, attention shifted from the politicians to a young, feminist punk group “Pussy Riot” after their performance at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow in protest of Putin’s third term. Out of their entire repertoire of six songs, it was their fifth, the “prayer” to the “Holy Mary to Drive Putin Away” (Mirovalev 2012) that caused the authorities to arrest three members of the punk rock group for hooliganism. They were later charged for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” The song was performed in protest of the Russian Orthodox Church and their support of Putin’s re-election (Elder 2012). At first, the charged members were threatened with seven years of prison – causing a widespread reaction worldwide as many in the international community saw this as a disproportionate punishment by an increasingly authoritative state. The opinions in Russia, on the contrary, were lukewarm as many supported the government’s decision to punish the members of the punk group (Heuvel 2012:5). After almost seven months in detention, the final verdict seems to be set at two years in prison – still seen by international spectators as disproportionate (BBCNews 2012 ). While details of the case are certainly fascinating, it is imperative to point out the particular elements that are most relevant to the present argument. Specifically, an examination of the place and the time of the incident are crucial to understanding how this case relates to the formation of symbolic control. The punk group was not charged for hooliganism (which, alone, may have been enough considering the content of their music). They were specifically charged for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. Essentially, it can be argued that the members of the group picked the wrong enemy. There was nothing explicitly hateful about their ‘punk prayer’ to the Holy Mary. In fact, the song itself only contained political content directed expressly at Putin (Parfitt 2012). The location had a greater impact, rather than the content of the song. The use of the main Russian Orthodox Cathedral – the center of the Orthodox faith and the seat of Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church – was the primary cause for such a backlash. This is especially evident since the group sang in protest in the middle of the Red Square (right next to the seat of the government) a few weeks earlier, but was largely unnoticed (Mirovalev 2012). The conspicuous choice of place worked in tandem with the (un)fortunate timing: one month before the federal elections. Some analysts have argued that the sole reason the punk group got any attention at all was because of the close proximity in time to the elections (ORT 2012). While this may be contested, it is true that other similar cases across the world have scarcely received similar attention. Not only were there protests outside of the courthouse during the trial, but governments across the world expressed their disapproval for the verdict. Others (like Amnesty International and Madonna) condemned the verdict and demanded their release. Latest headlines show that the group has been nominated for the Time Magazine Person of the Year award. The question remains, however, why this case? Why this time, and not another? True, the verdict may be exemplary of a disproportionate use of power on the state’s part, but the fact that this case was singled out is what is most interesting. The answer lies in the symbols that the Russian state communicates. By looking at the circumstances of the protest—specifically the time and the place— the current symbols defended by the Russian Federation are recognizable. These two specific instances are what make this case a most recent and useful example of symbolic control (since 76 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - it certainly is not the punk music). To put it bluntly, the government’s reaction to this case reveals which symbols matter most to the contemporary Russian state. Essentially, the Russian government is protecting the careful symbolic structures that it constructed after the disintegration of the USSR. The state’s reaction to the punk group’s protest illustrates the main facets of the ‘new’ symbolic formation. These include endorsing unquestioned support for the Russian government (like the Orthodox Church) and the ‘New Russians’ necessarily acquiescing to “appropriate” behavior rather than political involvement. By protecting these two facets, the Russian state is attempting to reinforce the symbols already in place in the society to ensure continued symbolic control. The trial, while revealing the symbols, is simultaneously reinforcing them. New rules and conceptions are re-distributed into public consciousness and continually influence perceptions of the Russian state. Nevertheless, the symbolic structures formed as part of the symbolic capital deployed by the state do change. As people assess the value of the information they receive (such as information provided by the media regarding trials), they also re-create and affect those symbolic systems. The extent to which the government can affect the symbols then becomes crucial to investigating symbolic production in an authoritarian state. While the state’s symbolic capital may play the dominant role, it is nevertheless influenced by the kinds of values that the population itself gives to the symbols deployed. While the people’s conception of symbols may be heavily controlled by the government, they can, in most cases, create their own perceptions. Without the opportunity for people outside the state to create their own meanings, a case like the Pussy Riot protests could not happen at all. The extent to which the government controls the symbolic capital and the reaction to it, therefore, reveals the strength of the symbolic control of the state at large. If the population’s reaction to the symbolic capital is deployed and maintained in a way that the society affirms symbols without deviating reactions, the government has gained sufficient control over its symbolic capital. How is the “hold on symbolic capital” different in an authoritarian state? One can arrive at the answer by recalling Bourdieu’s conception of “fields”, but paying much more attention to how they interact. When the state acquires enough symbolic capital to permeate through all fields of activity – not just the political, but even the journalistic – it is beginning to control the conceptualization of symbols outside of its usual political field. Once the state combines its hold on symbolic capital with its subjugation of different fields of activity, it has a monopoly on the production of symbolic structures. The Russian population and the re-creation of symbolic capital Despite the monopoly on symbolic production, the state still requires that the audience recreates the symbolic content produced. Mass media are, after all, only one of the many tools used to construct meaning and symbols in a society. People do not blindly follow messages of the media. Human agents must integrate these “modes of information into a coherent knowledge system with corresponding ways of perceiving and understanding human existence” (Chesebro & Bertelsen 1996:146). It is the people, after all, who interact with their own environments and construct meanings and representations based on their experiences (Chesebro & Bertelsen 1996:147). Despite the media’s influence in transmitting symbolic content, the people themselves must be receptive to this content and use it to construct their daily lives. These individuals augment and change the meaning, thus creating events and issues that are culturally bound even as they are broadcast on television (Chesebro & 77 Fields - Winter 2013 - Bertelsen 1996:148). Moreover, as much as the state can acquire a monopoly on symbolic production (through things such as media), it still needs to stay in proximity to the population’s immediate needs. Nevertheless, the state can remain within the cultural space, and within the proximity to the population’s needs, while still maintaining advantage of symbolic capital. Mass media, therefore, remains influential and is worth investigating because of its potential for symbolic transfer. While the audience is a crucial part for symbolic control to work, the state can still mobilize enough symbolic capital to impose on the population. That is because the state has access to many fields of influence. Although an event such as the Pussy Riot protest would be impossible without at least some of the population disagreeing with the affairs of the state, the government was still able to deal with the event in a way as to reinforce symbolic preferences. In a society where the state does not have control over symbolic fields, such a protest may have had a different impact. However, in a tightly controlled society, the protest was used to reveal symbolic controls. Conclusion This paper aimed at investigating the control of symbolic structures of the contemporary Russian society by the Russian state. The state has two sets of tools to govern a society: direct controls and symbolic controls. This paper concentrated on explaining specifically how the state uses its symbolic controls, by investigating the monopolization and deployment of symbolic capital through mass media. In Russia, occurrence is especially pertinent unclear, as a new set of symbolic material had to be deployed following the disintegration of the USSR – which led to the collapse of the previous symbolic system. To cope with the rapid symbolic change, the Russian state encouraged the production of certain consumer symbols and re-adapted other symbols to secure its own legitimacy, all the while trying to disassociate the population from paying attention to the political sphere. Subsequent control of the population was then possible because of the state’s accumulated symbolic capital. Though symbolic control of society looks very similar regardless of the government society lives under, there can be subtle differences in the way the state interacts with the other parts of the society (in this paper, specifically, with the journalistic field). Bourdieu would argue that there is indeed a difference in the way symbolic capital operates – that nature of the state does determine the kinds of interactions (and policies) it has in regard to the media and in regard to the symbolic content that is transferred. In Russia, the political field does have challengers, but it is also able to subjugate most of the population. The control over journalism, however, is still much stronger than in some countries. Since control over the journalistic field can be either enabling or restrictive, the relationship between the two will affect the kind of control the population experiences. In Russia, the media policy operates so that the enabling and restrictive boundaries are tightly bound together, producing a more coercive effect and subjugating the population under symbolic content that is strongly state motivated. Despite challenges to the symbolic structure, the state’s hold on the symbolic structure is strong enough to use deviant instances as re-enforcement of existing rules, rather than being direct challenges to symbolic legitimacy. While the state may have been successful in portraying the latest trial as a reinforcement of symbolic control, the symbolic structure of a society does constantly change. Some new symbols will be created, others modified, while some will be discarded altogether. The negotiations take place in the everyday lives of ordinary people, even among the state officials. Tracking the changes of the symbolic structures of a society, helps discover the pulse of a society. It sheds light on how people con- 78 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - ceive of themselves and their problems, but also who has the ability to best control these conceptualizations. Notes 1. I am not trying to imply that ideal institutions exist; the use of “ideal” in this introduction only serves to illustrate that people are not free to do whatever they want and that they are, in fact, bound by their social surroundings. 2. A Russian joke. Pravda and Izvestiya are two of the most read newspapers in Russia. 3. The Cathedral was destroyed under Stalin’s rule in the 1930s to make room for the “Palace of the Soviets” under Stalin’s rule. The construction was never completed, and the massive foundation that was dug up was turned into the biggest public swimming pool under Nikita Khrushchev until its eventual close and the reconstruction of the original Cathedral. 4. 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Filatov 1997 “The Russian Way” and Civil Society. Russian Social Science Review, 38(3), 16-31. Warhola, J. W. 2007 Religion and Politics Under the Putin Administration: Accommodation and Confrontation within “Managed Pluralism.” Journal of Church and State, 49(1), 75-96. 80 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s La “Fleur du mal” de la France du XIXème siècle Sabrina Moro La femme africaine - Que ce soit dans le domaine de la littérature, des arts ou des sciences sociales, nous produisons et consommons des images de l’Autre. Cependant, ces images sont profondément ancrées dans notre culture et notre histoire. Pour comprendre l’origine et la nature de notre relation avec les images contemporaines de l’Autre que nous entretenons, une introspection de la façon dont nous avons conceptualisé l’altérité par le passé est nécessaire. Par exemple, une généalogie des discours sur les pays en développement devrait remonter au moins jusqu’à l’époque coloniale car l’influence littéraire, artistique et politique de cette période marque encore notre imaginaire de nos jours. Ainsi, nous chercherons à savoir si le personnage de la femme africaine dans la poésie de Charles Baudelaire est représentatif du portrait que la société française du XIXème siècle dressait de l’Afrique. Afin de déconstruire notre contextualisation d’un des plus importants héritages de la littérature française, nous revisiterons notre compréhension des principaux thèmes présents dans l’œuvre baudelairienne. À cet effet, une analyse littéraire de quatre poèmes parus dans Les Fleurs du Mal en 1862 nous permettra de comprendre, dans un premier temps, comment la femme africaine était perçue par Baudelaire. Puis, nous nous demanderons jusqu’à quel point l’œuvre poétique du poète est représentative de la société française coloniale. Finalement, nous questionnerons le statut marginal de l’artiste afin de susciter une réflexion sur l’auto-ethnographie et ses implications pour une discipline académique comme l’anthropologie ou les études africaines. I. Représentations ambivalente de la femme africaine dans Les Fleurs du Mal Cette première partie est l’analyse littéraire de “Parfum exotique”, “La Chevelure”, “Sed non satiata” et “Le Serpent qui danse”, poèmes de Baudelaire inspirés par sa maîtresse et muse Jeanne Duval. Si son histoire personnelle demeure un mystère pour les historiens de la littérature française, il ne fait aucun doute qu’elle est née dans l’une des colonies française et qu’elle était reconnue pour la couleur foncée de sa peau (Richon 1998). En de nombreuses occasions, Baudelaire célèbre sa féminité, sa sensualité et son exotisme. “Parfum exotique” est le premier poème qui appartient au cycle de Jeanne Duval, aussi appelé “cycle de la Vénus noire” (Richon 1998). Dans ce sonnet classique en alexandrins, la femme est adorée. Elle est le principal sujet d’une rêverie du poète. La métaphore filée de la mer est une invitation au voyage et ce séjour commence avec l’adoration de la femme à travers son corps, “Je respire l’odeur de ton sein chaleureux, / Je vois se dérouler des rivages heureux”. Le registre de l’odorat est omniprésent et offre une connotation sensuelle et érotique. Le parfum de Jeanne est enivrant et subjugue complètement l’âme du poète jusqu’au dernier vers. De plus, le titre fait référence à des destinations de rêves: Une île paresseuse où la nature donne Des arbres singuliers et des fruits savoureux; Des hommes dont le corps et mince et vigoureux, Et des femmes dont l’œil par sa franchise étonne. Ceci n’est pas sans rappeler un monde idéal, un mythe du Bon Sauvage, où la Nature et l’Homme n’ont pas encore été corrompus par la société ou la modernité, dans le cas des Romantiques. En effet pour Baudelaire, “the black woman […] could embody a sense of integral existence” (Ahearn 1977:220). Dans “La Chevelure” la femme est aussi adorée car sa chevelure permet encore une fois le voyage à travers la métaphore filée de la mer. 81 Fields - Winter 2013 - Cependant, il semblerait qu’elle soit aussi un peu méprisée puisqu’elle s’efface totalement derrière sa chevelure qui fait l’unique objet de la rêverie de l’auteur. Ainsi, l’esprit du poète nage dans la houle des tresses et part vers une destination lointaine. La femme est d’abord un fleuve au cœur d’une “forêt aromatique”, puis se rapproche du littoral dans la troisième et quatrième strophe où les “voiles” et “les rameurs” sur la “mer d’ébène” attendent au port. Les vaisseaux qui “ouvrent leurs vastes bras pour embrasser la gloire / D’un ciel pur où frémit l’éternelle chaleur” sont une métaphore de la femme qui embrasse le poète. Celui-ci reprend son voyage vers le large en plongeant sa tête dans un “océan noir”. Cette longue croisière, provoquée par un désir pour “La langoureuse Asie et la brûlante Afrique” débouche sur un bonheur exotique. Toutefois, on sent un danger se dessiner au loin car les derniers vers sont marqués par une volonté de possession. Longtemps! toujours! ma main dans ta crinière lourde Sèmera le rubis, la perle et le saphir, Afin qu’à mon désir tu ne sois jamais sourde! N’es-tu pas l’oasis où je rêve, et la gourde Où je hume à longs traits le vin du souvenir? On sent aussi une relation de dépendance qui s’installe et Baudelaire est prêt à corrompre avec des pierres précieuses la nature innocente de la femme noire telle que décrite dans “Parfum exotique”. Jusqu’à un certain point, il semble y avoir un parallèle entre l’attitude de Baudelaire envers Jeanne et l’attitude des Européens envers le continent Africain. En effet, dans les deux cas, il y a ce désir de conquérir afin de satisfaire des intérêts personnels. Le portrait que Baudelaire dresse de sa maîtresse s’avère être complexe et ambivalent. Alors que la femme est célébrée pour sa sensualité, elle est aussi destructrice dans sa séduction et entraine le poète dans un monde infernal. Par exemple, dans “Sed non satiata” la femme est vénérée pour l’exotisme qu’elle dégage. Elle est de couleur “brune comme les nuits”, son parfum est de “musc et de havane” et son “flanc” est “d’ébène”. De plus, elle est associée à des divinités car le mot “déité” qui la désigne ouvre le poème. Elle relève aussi du monde surnaturel car “obi” désigne un sorcier africain et “Faust” est un héros qui fit un pacte avec le Diable. Mais les termes cités précédemment prennent une tournure plus négative et révèlent en fait une descente aux enfers progressive par l’évocation d’un “démon sans pitié”, puis du Styx1, puis de la “Mégère libertine”2, et finalement Proserpine3. Cette association avec la reine des Enfers marque l’apogée de cette descente infernale et clôt par ailleurs le poème. Ainsi, la femme est comparée à une créature démoniaque dont le pouvoir maléfique croît en passant de “bizarre déité” à Proserpine dont le lit devient un enfer. Peutêtre cette image évoque-t-elle la souffrance du poète face à son impuissance d’assouvir le désir de sa maîtresse car il implore: “O démon sans pitié! verse-moi moins de flamme”. La femme qui suscitait d’abord un envoûtement pas ses baisers et “l’élixir de [sa] bouche” devient le bourreau du poète car ses “désirs partent en caravane” et elle l’entraine vers la débauche. “Le Serpent qui danse” est un autre exemple de l’ambivalence que Baudelaire éprouve envers Jeanne Duval. Une fois de plus, elle incarne un ailleurs et invite le poète à un voyage où tous ses sens sont sollicités: “j’aime voir” (la vue), “chevelure profonde” (le toucher), “âcres parfums” (l’odorat), “de doux ni d’amer” (le goût) et “glaciers grondants” (l’ouïe). Le poète lui est reconnaissant de ce voyage souligné par la métaphore filée de la mer et des liquides qui connote l’évasion. Ce poème est en retour une véritable déclaration d’amour où la femme sensuelle y est célébrée, notamment à travers plusieurs parties de son “corps si beau” tels sa chevelure dans le deuxième quatrain, ses yeux dans le quatrième quatrain, sa tête dans le sixième quatrain et sa bouche dans le huitième quatrain. 82 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Le personnage de l’amante est cependant ambivalent puisque la métaphore filée du serpent la suit dans tout le poème, et tout particulièrement dans la strophe centrale qui décrit sa démarche et fait écho au titre: “On dirait un serpent qui danse”. La forme du poème, soit l’alternance d’octosyllabes et de pentasyllabes, va aussi en ce sens en évoquant les ondulations du serpent. A te voir marcher en cadence, Belle d’abandon, On dirait un serpent qui danse Au bout d’un bâton. On peut voir dans cette comparaison un symbolique très claire qui fait référence à la Bible, où le serpent représente la tentation. Jeanne Duval incite aux péchés, le plaisir est donc associé au danger: la maîtresse de Baudelaire est une véritable “fleur du mal”. II. Baudelaire, conformiste malgré son excentricité4 L’analyse littéraire de quatre poèmes des Fleurs du Mal a permis d’identifier quelques thèmes récurrents dans la poésie de Baudelaire. À travers la sexualité de la femme africaine, le rêve d’un retour vers un idéal originel, et les malaises de la modernité, nous explorerons la manière dont l’œuvre poétique de Baudelaire est représentative de la société française du XIXème siècle. Le premier thème est celui de la sensualité de la femme noire qui, parce qu’elle est vénérée pour son érotisme associé à son exotisme, semble s’opposer à la femme européenne. En effet, Baudelaire ne mentionne nulle part des parties du corps à intérêt sexuel de ses maîtresses blanches5, alors qu’il s’étend longuement sur le désir que suscite l’anatomie de la femme noire (Nnadi 1994:153). Ceci n’est pas sans rappeler Edward Said et sa critique de l’orientalisme (1978), où il postule que l’Orient est souvent représenté comme étant l’archétype de l’Altérité de l’Occident. De plus, la sexualité très développée de Jeanne Duval la rend démoniaque car elle incarne la tentation dans “Sed non satiata” et “Le Serpent qui danse”. Similairement, cette relation d’amour et de haine semble être caractéristique des relations interculturelles des empires coloniaux européens avec leurs colonies. Comme le démontre Jan Nederveen Pieterse, “the contradictory western attitudes towards the non-western world seem to culminate in contradictory attitudes towards non-western sexuality, and these in turn reflect ambivalent feelings on the part of westerners about their own sexuality” (1992:172). En contribuant au portrait physique et moral de la femme africaine, Baudelaire s���inscrit dans un mythe de la France du XIXème siècle, soit l’hyperérotisme de la “négresse” (Nnadi 1994). Un second thème de la poésie baudelairienne est la nature idéalisée d’un monde originel souvent associé à l’exotisme de l’Asie et à l’Afrique. Le motif du voyage et d’un ailleurs rêvé est une réponse du poète au malaise qu’il ressent dans sa propre société. En effet, la femme rappelle dans “Parfum exotique” un monde idéal pur tel qu’imaginé par Rousseau, mais son innocence peut être corrompue dans “La Chevelure” lorsque le poète désir la conquérir avec des richesses. Si le colonialisme est un aspect de la modernité, les représentations de la nature et de la société industrielle sont par conséquent étroitement liées. L’œuvre de Baudelaire est marquée par une mélancolie symptomatique du malaise que l’Homme européen éprouve dans cette société nouvellement industrialisée (Ahearn 1977). La femme africaine est donc attirante parce qu’elle rappelle les qualités d’un monde originel. Ceci fait écho une fois de plus à la nature exotique présente dans la description de la femme, notamment dans “Parfum exotique”. En effet, l’héritage du Romantisme est très présent dans l’œuvre littéraire de Baudelaire car la nature est un thème qui transcende sa poésie. Elle est parfois paisible, par exemple dans “Parfum exotique”: 83 Fields - Winter 2013 - Je vois se dérouler des rivages heureux Qu’éblouissent les feux d’un soleil monotone Et parfois indomptable comme dans “Le Serpent qui danse”: Comme un flot grossi par la fonte Des glaciers grondants. Quoiqu’il en soit, la nature s’oppose à la ville qui est le symbole par excellence de la modernité, troisième thème important dans la poésie baudelairienne. Ce thème est explicite à travers la personnification de la ville de Paris dans une section complète des Fleurs du Mal intitulée “Tableaux parisiens”. Les poèmes de Baudelaire nous laissent l’impression qu’il est “[A] flâneur [who] still stands on the threshold - of the metropolis as of the middle class. Neither has him in its power yet. In neither is he at home” (Benjamin 2006:40). Le poète est physiquement dans la ville mais il aspire à d’autres ailleurs. Ce thème est aussi paradoxalement omniprésent par son absence. Face à Paris industrielle et aliénante, la femme noire est une invitation au voyage vers les Tropiques. Ce voyage spirituel se réalise à travers sa création littéraire. Cette dernière est en partie basée sur des souvenirs de jeunesse à l’Île de la Réunion et l’Île Maurice qui auraient permis à l’artiste de se familiariser avec la culture créole (Lionnet 1998). Cependant, les plus grands spécialiste de Baudelaire s’accordent à dire que l’inspiration du poète est en grande partie due à sa compagne et muse Jeanne Duval (Cf. Pichois et Ziegler 1996). Or d’après Emmanuel Richon, “Jeanne se trouve déracinée [à Paris comme à Bruxelles]; après l’esclavage de ses ancêtres, elle subit de plein fouet le laminage d’une Histoire coloniale comme le rejet d’une société raciste” (1998:406). Stigmatisée et marginalisée par des stéréotypes, Jeanne est en exil identitaire. Similairement, Baudelaire est en exil par la nature même de son art. Ils sont tous deux en retrait de la société qu’ils habitent, et c’est leur compréhension mutuelle de leur isolement qui fait la force de leur relation. Pour Françoise Lionnet (1998), Baudelaire laisse en fait parler la femme créole à travers ses poèmes. La célébration du corps de son amante noire est l’annonce d’un départ vers un ailleurs exotique pour le poète et, parce qu’elle est le sujet poème, Jeanne l’accompagne dans son voyage lyrique. Guidé par ton odeur vers de charmants climats, Je vois un port rempli de voiles et de mâts Encor tout fatigués par la vague marine C’est justement cette volonté d’exile dans l’imaginaire qui traduit le malaise du poète avec les paradoxes de la modernité. En conséquence, cette analyse littéraire a illustré le parallèle qui peut être établi entre l’attitude ambivalente des contemporains de Baudelaire envers leur sexualité et leur attitude ambivalente envers l’Autre, à savoir leurs colonies en Afrique. En effet, Jeanne Duval incarne la femme baudelairienne par excellence, et les contradictions présentes dans son portrait révèlent que Baudelaire s’inscrivait malgré tout dans le conformisme social de son époque (Nnadi 1994). De même, pour Edward Ahearn (1977) les dichotomies entre les thèmes tels que soi-autrui, masculin-féminin, artiste-muse, industriel-nature, blanc-noir, présents dans la poésie de Baudelaire sont révélatrices de tensions dans la société française du XIXème siècle, tensions qui persistent encore dans notre culture. III. L’Expérience de l’écriture poétique et académique Rien ne laissait présager, lors de sa première parution, le succès que connait de nos jours Les Fleurs du Mal. En effet, en écrivant le premier poème du recueil, poème qui est une apostrophe au lecteur, Baudelaire voulait le mettre en garde contre les difficultés de la poésie lyrique: “Baudelaire wanted to be understood; he dedicates his book to those who are like him” (Benjamin 2006:170). Derrière la nature provocante de l’œuvre qui fît scandale aux bons 84 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - meurs, il y a la maîtrise d’un art. D’après Walter Benjamin (2006), l’une des clés pour être réceptif à la poésie lyrique c’est d’être attentif à une forme de mémoire involontaire, un concept développé par Marcel Proust. [This concept] bears the traces of the situation that engendered it; it is part of the inventory of the individual who is isolated in various ways. Where there is experience [Erfahrung] in the strict sense of the word, certain contents of the individual past combine in the memory [Gedächtnis] with material from the collective pasts.” (Benjamin 2006:174, emphase originale) En d’autres termes, l’appréciation d’un poème lyrique est liée avec les émotions que le texte suscite chez le lecteur. La lecture devient une expérience en elle-même justement parce qu’elle est vectrice d’émotions. De plus, la dimension sentimentale de l’expérience est intrinsèquement liée à la mémoire involontaire car elle fait appel à la fois à l’histoire personnelle du lecteur et l’imaginaire ou la mémoire collective de sa société. Les implications de cette réflexion sont nombreuses pour la façon dont nous abordons un texte académique. Premièrement, il apparaît évident que combiner écriture académique avec d’autres formes d’écritures plus créatives donne une nouvelle dimension au texte. Ainsi, en anthropologie, c’est presque une obligation pour l’ethnologue, et surtout depuis que Geertz l’a si éloquemment rappelé (1988), de développer un style littéraire qui amalgame quelques procédés de la fiction afin de créer “a sense of being there”. Outre de simples recommandations stylistiques spécifiques à l’anthropologie, on pourrait en déduire qu’il s’agit de reconnaitre l’avantage d’être ouvert à d’autres formes d’écritures. Par ailleurs, Lionnet (1998) réitère ce que Said (1985) avait déjà souligné, à savoir la nécessité d’allier études culturelles et études littéraires comme source mutuelle de savoir. Lorsque l’on parle de représentations et de conceptualisations (problématiques ou pas) de l’Afrique, il serait difficile de ne pas pencher pour une approche multidisciplinaire. Deuxièmement, à travers la notion d’expérience, l’emphase est mise sur l’historicité de l’auteur et de son auditoire. Par historicité dans ce contexte spécifique d’écriture académique, on entend que celui qui produit un discours et ceux qui le reçoivent ont une histoire et une culture qui leur est respectivement propre, et que la combinaison de ces dernières façonne de manière significative leur compréhension du texte et leurs réactions subséquentes. Un excellent exemple est celui de Ngugi wa Thiong’o, un écrivain kenyan qui a longtemps écrit des romans en anglais, langue dans laquelle il a fait son éducation supérieure. Devil on the Cross, son premier roman en kikuyu publié en 1982, s’est révélé être tout un exercice littéraire doublé d’un profond questionnement identitaire. Comme il le raconte dans son ouvrage Decolonizing the Mind (1986), il a dû trouver une façon de réconcilier la tradition orale de sa culture avec l’écriture romanesque, afin d’inventer un nouveau genre: le roman africain. Parce que Ngugi a su toucher ses lecteurs à travers des thèmes qui leurs tenaient à cœur, et parce qu’ils se sont retrouvés dans son style innovateur, ce roman a connu un succès sans précédents. Cet exemple illustre en partie le concept de mémoire involontaire discuté ci-dessus en soulignant la relation entre un passé personnel et une mémoire collective partagée. Ainsi, chaque narration est unique parce que la dynamique entre l’auteur et son auditoire est unique, de par leur historicité respective. Si chaque narration est unique, il faut alors accepter qu’il ait multiples narrations et que chacune d’entre elles soient vraie. Finalement, à l’origine de la représentation de la femme africaine dans la poésie de Baudelaire, il y a la mémoire. Il y a ses souvenirs de voyages de jeunesse, sa nostalgie d’un paradis perdu, et le mal du pays de sa maîtresse ex- 85 Fields - Winter 2013 - ilée. Or pour Johannes Fabian (1999), la mémoire est liée à l’identité, et l’identité est liée à l’expérience de l’altérité. Une fois de plus, le paradigme de l’expérience vécue laisse entendre que “representations of otherness are […] indirectly representations of self ” (Pieterse 1995:232). Comme il a été montré précédemment, Baudelaire laisse parler la femme africaine à travers ses poèmes et la vulnérabilité de Jeanne se révèle être aussi la sienne puisqu’ils sont tous deux en marge de la société française du XIXème siècle. Il existe donc une relation d’interdépendance entre soi et l’Autre, mais cette relation n’est pas nécessairement équitable. En effet, Baudelaire utilise Jeanne pour exprimer son malaise face aux paradoxes de la modernité. De plus, dresse le portrait morale et physique de cette femme noire car il maîtrise les mots. De la même manière, les images de la femme des colonies produites et consommées par les puissances occidentales ont permis à celle-ci de se définir: l’Europe était, et est encore aujourd’hui, ce que l’Afrique n’est pas, et vice versa. Cependant, même dans le cas d’une définition de soi par la négation de ce qu’on n’est pas, il y a malgré tout une relation de réciprocité qui est implicite. L’identité se constitue à travers l’expérience de l’Autre. Cette rencontre avec l’Autre peut être marquée par une asymétrie de pouvoir dans la relation, néanmoins, il reste toujours question de deux identités et non simplement celle de l’entité qui détient les rênes du pouvoir. En effet, pour reprendre l’idée de Judith Butler (1997) selon laquelle “to be human is to be vulnerable to the call of another”, il semblerait qu’il y ait une relation de réciprocité dans cette vulnérabilité qui émane de l’exposition du “soi” par le biais des mots. Justement, d’après Taussig, l’écriture est “a source of experience for reader and writer alike” (2010:29). Le cas de Baudelaire le démontre bien, sa poésie est un art que son lecteur vit à travers sa plume virtuose. L’écriture est autant transformatrice pour l’auteur que pour le lecteur. Pour un lecteur de Baudelaire, cela implique reconnaitre son historicité et celle du poète. S’il est le produit historique et culturel de la France de son époque, avec toutes ses tensions, tant dans sa représentation de la femme africaine, que dans son style lyrique (Nnadi 1994), ses vers seront toujours modernes car contemporains à l’expérience de leur lecture. Pour un étudiant en études africaines ou en anthropologie, cela implique de l’humilité en reconnaissant son historicité et l’historicité du sujet étudié. Cela implique aussi de s’ouvrir à d’autres formes d’écriture en s’intéressant à l’auto-ethnographie ou en développant une approche multidisciplinaire qui combine plusieurs genres et registres littéraires. Conclusion Dans un premier temps, il a été montré à travers une analyse littéraire de quelques poèmes de Baudelaire qu’il existe un parallèle entre la femme noire, à la fois source de voluptés et démoniaque, et l’Afrique, attirante par son exotisme et pourtant effrayante par sa nature sombre et sauvage. Les thèmes récurrents de la sexualité, de la nature idéalisée en opposition avec les malaises d’une modernité post-industrielle, ont permis de comprendre jusqu’à quel point l’œuvre de Baudelaire était représentative de son époque. Finalement, parce que l’expérience est un aspect central de l’écriture lyrique du poète, nous nous sommes penchés sur les implications qu’une telle sensibilité pouvait avoir pour des disciplines académiques comme l’anthropologie et les études africaines. L’écriture est un processus au cours duquel on expose et est exposé. Par conséquence, la reconnaissance d’une relation de réciprocité qui accompagne cette vulnérabilité pourrait amener à l’adoption d’une certaine humilité dans l’écriture académique, car après tout il existe multiples représentations et images. Notre texte n’est seulement qu’une narration parmi tant d’autres. 86 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - Notes 1. Le Styx est le fleuve qui fait neuf fois le tour des Enfers dans la mythologie grecque. 2. La Mégère est l’une des trois Furies et la déesse de la haine dans la mythologie grecque. 3. Proserpine est la déesse des saisons et la femme de Pluton, dieu des Enfers, dans la mythologie romaine. 4. Cette idée est empruntée à Nnadi (1994:153). 5. Madame Sabatier et Marie Daubrun ont aussi été maîtresses et muses de Baudelaire. Voir Bassim (1974) pour plus de détails sur l’influence qu’elles ont eue sur le poète. Références Ahearn, Edward J. 1977 Black Woman, White Poet: Exile and Exploitation in Baudelaire’s Jeanne Duval Poems. The French Review 51(2): 212-220. Bassim, Tamara 1974 La femme dans l’œuvre de Baudelaire. Neuchâtel: Les Éditions de la Baconnière. Baudelaire, Charles 1862  Les Fleurs du Mal. Paris: Le Livre de Poche. Benjamin, Walter 2006 The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire. Howard Eiland and Edmund Jephcott, trans. Michael W. Jennings, ed. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Butler, Judith 1997 Introduction: on linguistic vulnerability. In Excitable speech. New York: Routledge. Fabian, Johannes 1999 Remembering the Other: Knowledge and Recognition in the Exploration of Central Africa. Critical Inquiry 26(1): 49-69 Geertz, Clifford 1988 Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Lionnet, Françoise 1998 Reframing Baudelaire: Literary History, Biography, Postcolonial History, and Vernacular Languages. Theme issue, “Doing French Studies”, Diacritics 28(3): 62-85 Ngugi wa Thiong’o 1982 Devil on the Cross. Ngugi, trans. London: Heinemann Publishers. 1986 “The Language of African fiction”. In Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London: Heinemann Publishers. Nnadi, Joseph 1994 Les Négresses de Baudelaire. Saint-Boniface: Les Éditions des Plaines. Pichois, Claude 1967 Baudelaire: Études et Témoignages. Neuchâtel: Les Éditions de la Baconnière. Pichois, Claude and Jean Ziegler. 1996 Charles Baudelaire. Paris: Fayard. Pieterse, Jan 1992 White on Black: images of Africa and Blacks in Western popular culture. New Haven: Yale University Press. Rabbin, Marcelle 1972 Le Pitre châtié ou la Société comme cirque. The French Review 45(5):980-987 Richon, Emmanuel 1998 Jeanne Duval et Charles Baudelaire. Belle d’abandon. Paris: L’Harmattan. Said, Edward 1978 Introduction. In Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books. Taussig, Michael 2010 The Corn-Wolf: Writing Apotropaic Texts. Critical Inquiry 37(1):26-33. 87 Fields - Language-tinted glasses Lizzie Carolan Winter 2013 - Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher Metropolitan/Henry Holt and Co., 2010, 320 pp. Linguistic relativity, summarized in the SapirWhorf hypothesis that was developed in the early half of the twentieth century, has to do with the idea that “our mother tongue determines the way we think and perceive the world” (Deutscher 2010: 130). However interesting and meaningful this hypothesis may appear at first glance, it fell into almost universal disfavor by linguists as it had begun to be used as a way to justify prejudices against cultures and make claims that certain cultures and their languages were better or worse than others based on the perceived complexity of the language. For example, take a language that does not use inflectional tense on its verbs to express the notion of time, but instead uses adverbs such as tomorrow, today, etc, to demarcate time. Speakers of a language who do use tense to express the idea of time can use this linguistic difference to claim that their language is ‘better’ or ‘more complex.’ This misuse made linguists extremely uncomfortable, thus the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was shunned. Guy Deutscher boldly steps into the dangerous territory that is linguistic relativity in his book, mapping the boundaries of what should be reconsidered by linguists today by examining three concepts—space, gender, and color— that can be carved up differently depending on the language. He explains the development of this idea of linguistic relativity from its apparent origins in an English politician’s thorough analysis of Homer’s use of color in The Odyssey and The Iliad, but in an entertaining, anecdotal and often humorous way. Despite Deutscher’s amusing and engag- ing style of writing as well as the interesting historical content, I found the studies he cited on concepts of space and gender in support of his argument to be weak. In his chapter titled “Where the Sun Doesn’t Rise in the East,” he devotes nearly thirty-seven pages to describing how the speakers of Guugu Yimithirr, a dying Australian Aboriginal language, use directions in their language. In Guugu Yimithirr, they used the cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) whenever describing the spatial location of anything, whereas most languages use the cardinal directions only when necessary, favoring instead right and left to describe location and space. Despite the fascinating fact that there exists a language where its speakers must always know which direction things are facing, one language alone is not enough to support the idea that “fundamental aspects of our thought are influenced by the cultural convention of our society” (2010: 233). He peppers this chapter with fleeting mentions of other languages spoken that use directions in reference to a large or important, often geographical, landmark that exists in the society. However, the fact of the matter is that there is no scientific basis in these claims; they are merely characteristics of these languages. Although Deutscher’s studies and anecdotes in his chapters on gender and space in language are interesting, the reader should be wary of his assertions as his evidence seems to be inadequate. Furthermore, the scientific studies that he does use, albeit in paltry quantity, in his chapter about gender in languages, cheekily titled “Sex and Syntax,” could be easily convincing. However, as linguistics and anthropology are social sciences, I choose to be skeptical of the conclusion he posits based on the results of these studies: the idea that “languages that 88 Hi v e r 2013 - Te r r a i n s - treat inanimate objects as ‘he’ or ‘she’ force their speakers to talk about such objects with the same grammatical forms that are applied to men and women” (2011: 208). It is a hard claim to study, to be sure, which is exactly why I am skeptical of the studies he cites. However, Deutscher does redeem himself and his argument when he examines color in the following chapter, “Russian Blues.” He cites studies that involve neuroscientists and MRIs, tests that involve control groups, and the most recent study he cites, from 2008, uses an interference task to isolate the language faculty from visual processing. These studies provide empirical evidence to Deutscher’s claims making color studies Deutscher’s strongest claim. Ultimately, Through the Language Glass, while perhaps lacking in some research (he does admit that some research is just not possible at this time, due to lack of knowledge about the brain), is a well-written, informative read on the idea that language can be used as a lens through which we see the world. References Deutscher, Guy 2010 Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages. New York: Metropolitan/Henry Holt and Co. 89 Co ntri butors Lizzie Carolan is a U3 linguistics student with a passion for anything language related. In her spare time, she dabbles in the realm of music, playing violin and songwriting. When she graduates, she plans to either travel the world as an English teacher in hopes of soaking up as much exposure to different languages and cultures as possible, or to become a rock star. Diana Kontsevaia recently completed her Joint Honours degree in anthropology and political science, with a minor in Chinese language. Influenced by living in four different countries, her research combines anthropology and political science, exploring cultures in their political settings and investigating the effects of government and nationalism on people’s everyday lives. Bronwyn Larsen is a recent graduate of McGill University in anthropology and geography. As a child of expatriates, anthropology became a welcome excuse to ‘research’ both the enriching and downright embarrassing cultural situations she has found herself in over the years. Next autumn, Bronwyn plans to move to the UK to pursue a graduate degree in anthropology. Sheina Lew-Levy is a U3 Honours anthropology student, minoring in field studies. She is currently completing her honours thesis with the Cree community of Washaw Sibi, focusing on sustainable ways of transmitting traditional knowledge from one generation to the next. In her spare time, Sheina teaches outdoor survival skills to kids. Sabrina Moro is majoring in socio-cultural anthropology, with minors in environmental and African studies. She is interested in visual anthropology and the tensions between academic writing and activism, the anthropology of religion, cinema, feminism, and the history of colonialism. Co l la b ora teu rs Robyn Powell is a U3 anthropology student, minoring in psychology. Her favourite field of research is biological anthropology. She is currently working on an independent study where she gets to whack bones with a broadsword – for science! Mayumi Robinson is a recently-graduated anthropology student who is beginning to explore the possibilities of sensory ethnography. She is going on to pursue an MA in Ethnographic Film and Sensory Media at the University of Manchester. Émilie Sarrazin completed an Honours degree in anthropology with a minor in classics in winter 2012. Archaeology, Egyptology, museum touring, and travelling are her great passions. Starting next year, she will pursue a PhD in Egyptian archaeology at the University of Chicago. Mercedes Sharpe Zayas is an Honours student in anthropology with a minor in geography. She is interested in indigenous protest movements and the role dialectical urbanism plays in gender politics. Her work is conveyed through both ethnographic film and the written word. Josh Sterlin is an anthropology major focusing in ecological anthropology, North American native peoples, and hoping to move further into human ecology, subsistence strategies and food processing skills, bushcraft skills, and applied biology. Morgane Suel identifies herself as an enthusiastic (yet very sleep-deprived) student, the Anthropology Students’ Association’s co-president, a medical anthropology enthusiast, and a professional bruncher (yes, she firmly believes that this is a legitimate “thing”). She’s currently wrapping up her last semester at McGill working on a thesis which looks at the intersection of health with new start-up technologies.