Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Primary Theme: The Political
Secondary Theme: Violence
This panel brings together scholars whose work examines state bureaucracy, paperwork, and ordinary practices of recording and surveillance. We explore how these practices create various forms of oppression, impunity, and/or counter-state agency, and eventually enable certain politico-legal claims. Taking reporting as a performative process with its material and discursive forms, we trace how such seemingly uneventful practices make the subjects/objects that they just aim to record. We ask: what does reporting as an active enactment on facts, figures, and events generate? What kinds of interventions, techno-legal arrangements, and state legibility/illegibility are embedded in that process? What affective work and ethical dispositions does reporting perform? How do aesthetics as well as storage and circulation technologies of reporting shape the subjectivities and agencies that reporting makes possible? Based on ethnographic research in various settings from courtrooms to police stations in Turkey, India, and Venezuela, the papers in this panel will explore how reporting practices of state authorities, police officers, border-crossers, and crime journalists turn spaces, peoples, and issues of crime, violence, illegality or impunity into objects of contestations.