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When Roads Cannot Be Used

The Use of Trained Elephants for Emergency Logistics, Off-Road Conveyance, and Political Revolt in South and Southeast Asia

Jacob Shell

This article is about the use of trained Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) for transportation, in particular across muddy or flooded terrain, clandestine off-road transportation, and during guerrilla operations or political revolts. In a sense, these are all in fact the same transport task: the terrestrial conveyance of people and supplies when, due to weather or politics or both, roads cannot be used. While much recent work from fields such as anthropology, geography, history, and conservation biology discusses the unique relationship between humans and trained elephants, the unique human mobilities opened up by elephant-based transportation has been for the most part overlooked as a research topic. Looking at both historical and recent (post–World War II) examples of elephant-based transportation throughout South and Southeast Asia, I suggest here that this mode of transportation has been especially associated with epistemologically less visible processes occurring outside of state-recognized, formal institutions.

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Mobile Disasters

Catastrophes in the Age of Manufactured Uncertainty

Steve Matthewman

synchronization of planetary emotion. While yet to happen, there have been intimations of what it might be like: the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, various financial panics and meltdowns, the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, and 3.11. Disasters

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Frauke Mennes, John P. Hayes, David Kloos, Martha Lagace, Morten Koch Andersen, Somdeep Sen, Matthew Porges and Sa’ed Atshan

2004 Indian Ocean tsunami had taken the lives of more than 160,000 people across the province. In her research among conflict survivors, Smith found that the concept of trauma, although a relatively recent addition to the Indonesian (and Acehnese