THE (LOCAL) MEDICAL WORKER. Understanding the act of bearing witness through a reorientation of testis, superstes

Shubranshu Mishra

Abstract


The concept of bearing witness has acquired a paradigmatic value following the work that appeared in the twentieth century and bred a forceful discussion on the significance of a witness and its subjectivity and ethics. It also led to dogmatic positions and limitations, negations and negotiations, possibilities and impossibilities. This paper explores the act of bearing witness to exception through the conflict in Kashmir to understand the case of body and its origin in order to dehomogenise the figure of the witness. It is done to widen its scope, understand it reorienting into new forms, occasionally becoming more radical, and sometimes choosing to moderate themselves under a different logic. It offers an understanding about the local medical worker as a witness but not limiting it to the terrain of superstes or testis and other categories as suggested by Giorgio Agamben (1999) and Didier Fassin (2008, 2012). The objective is to understand the local medical worker as a witness who testifies not only in place of those he or she treats, but to his or her own condition as an actor in conflict, thereby mixing the “clinical with the political”, using Fassin’s phrase.


Keywords


Witnessing, Kashmir, War, Exception, Humanitarian.

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Registrazione presso il Tribunale di Napoli n. 37 del 05/07/2012