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Niklas Hultin

This article examines the discourse surrounding the circulation of legal information in urban Gambia. It argues that ideas of information sharing suggest that Gambian law is fundamentally opaque, not simply in that it is not transparent but that it is only partially known. Drawing on the insights of Marilyn Strathern and other 'Melanesianists', the article further proposes that information sharing is a kind of relation and that opacity is a way of cutting relations. This in turn presents a way of apprehending African law that differs from the current emphasis on illegality and sovereignty in Africanist legal anthropology and focuses instead on emendation as a modality of engaging the law.

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The Shadows of Knowability

Reading between Opaque Narrative and Transparent Text

Younes Saramifar

that is burning? How can it make itself apparent to me - whatever that ‘it’ is? The torch of ember is an example of opacity. It is a puzzling knowability that stands in-between opacity and transparency. 1 It could be about to become fire and turn

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Jess Dorrance

on opacity and Denise Ferreira da Silva's (2009) work on the racial and gendered parameters of recognition as a way to think about the possibilities of resisting the state's injunction toward transparency, visual and otherwise. McDonald's, Stanley

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Danger, Moral Opacity, and Outrage

Fear of Jihadism and the Terrorist Threat in Southern Mali

Tone Sommerfelt

everywhere and evildoers potentially hide in people’s midst, public moral outrage is elicited by moral opacity. In effect, moral outrage takes the form of a confrontational interpretative quest that brings forth demands to expose subjects’ moral makeup to a

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Alan Dowty

Research on Israeli nuclear weapons policy is seen as the classic case of conflict between security constraints and the academic ethos of openness. However, the 'ambiguity' of Israel's declared policy has eroded considerably over time, first to 'opacity' and now to simple non-acknowledgement. Furthermore, there have been vast changes in strategic circumstances: the initial rationale as a nuclear deterrent to conventional attack has been eclipsed by deterrence of other weapons of mass destruction. This is potentially a more promising platform for arms control agreements. The changes also call into question the need for the continued extension of censorship into academic research on the topic.

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Introduction

Infrastructures of Certainty and Doubt

Matthew Carey and Morten Axel Pedersen

Debates surrounding notions of certainty and conviction and, conversely, of doubt, uncertainty and opacity have proved to be some of the liveliest and most anthropologically productive of recent years. The contention that a kernel of uncertainty

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Enemies of the people

Theorizing dispossession and mirroring conspiracy in the Republic of Georgia

Katrine Bendtsen Gotfredsen

investigate the elements of this paradox of opacity and clarity—conspiracy and theory. Much like suspicious public attitudes to political and economic elites in other post-Soviet settings (see, e.g., Nazpary 2002 ; Ries 2002 ), speculations about how the

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Notes around Hospitality as Inhabitation

Engaging with the Politics of Care and Refugees’ Dwelling Practices in the Italian Urban Context

Camillo Boano and Giovanna Astolfo

understanding of the complex entanglements of humanitarian dilemmas, refugees’ struggle for recognition and their desire for opacity. While it is impossible to completely avoid the use of terms such as integration and hospitality, given that they are deeply

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Postwar Facial Reconstruction

Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face

Stefanos Geroulanos

This essay proposes a reading of Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face that focuses on the cultural and philosophical contexts of the face, its destruction, and imagined reconstruction in postwar France. The film foregrounds the protagonist's lack of a face and the effort to restore it into a cinematic argument heralding the ruin of natural beauty and genuine face-to-face relations, an approach that in turn theorizes the postwar world as premised on ethical and aesthetic opacity. By considering contemporary treatments of the face, as well as the representations of injury and violence, the essay argues that at stake in the political and aesthetic judgments proposed by the failed face transplants in the film was a concern with the technological reconstruction of a natural and pure state, a reconstruction that was now seen as impossible and could have devastating consequences at the ethical and aesthetic levels.

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Colin Davis

The dead will remain with us, Sartre remarks at the end of Les Mots, for as long as humanity roams the earth. The dead are never quite dead; they survive in what Sartre, in L'Etre et le néant, calls 'la vie morte' (dead life). In Huis clos, Sartre envisages an afterlife in which, although they can no longer act, the dead continue to agonize over the meaning of their lives and their now irrevocable actions. Sartre's script of Les Jeux sont faits, filmed by Jean Delannoy and shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1947, goes a step further. It depicts two dead people given the chance to return to earth in the pursuit of love and, at the same time, the opportunity to rectify their earlier mistakes, to change the meaning of their lives by intervening more effectively in their worlds. Despite its supernatural story line, the stakes of Les Jeux sont faits are recognizably Sartrean. The film serves as an opportunity to probe the themes of freedom, responsibility, choice, the role of the individual agent in history, the self's opacity to itself, the conflict endemic in the human condition and the ways in which external circumstances make a mockery of our endeavours. It asks the question, if we were given a second chance, could we revisit the scenes of our failures and transform them into successes? Could we learn from our mistakes and lucidly remodel the world in the form of our desires? Or are we condemned only to fail again, to make the same mistakes twice over?