Towards the Matheme of Genocide

Towards the Matheme of Genocide

What is a Matheme of Genocide?

Matheme is not to be confused with the identification case number. This contains the case number, but this is more than the case number itself. Matheme talks about the whole network of inter-subjective relationships surrounding the genocide in Srebrenica. Matheme is something that manages to be trans-historical. It carries the truth of genocide.

Pythagorean construction and transfer of the Matheme of Genocide

Can we make a Matheme that is going to be understandable a hundred years from now? Without somebody having to go through all the historicization, and without somebody having even image or having to go through the first visits to the labs, visit to the ICMP (International Commission for Missing People). Can we have something that can be shown and used, but to witness to the particular politics and to transfer this knowledge, and to transfer a truth of genocide?

What came out of the Yugoslav Wars? Nothing. These wars were a sheer act of negation. How do we articulate an affirmative, emancipatory politics out of an
enthropy-inducing negativity?

The dynamics of the “Pythagorean lecture”, a specific form of transmission of knowledge, are determined by the physical positioning of the lecturer. The lecturer stands behind a curtain so that, for the audience, his/her voice serves as the only accessible source of information and representation. Grupa Spomenik uses the device of the “invisible lecturer” as a means of separating its discourse from everyday representations and doxa — a device for ushering the network of politics around genocide into the realm of factual and speakable abstraction. Matheme is counterposed to mis-en-scène, directness of abstract knowledge to the meanderings of representation.

What still remains after the genocide in Srebrenica?

Fifteen years after the genocide in Srebrenica, it has become a complex object constructed by science, religion, administration and management of the trauma. Paradoxically, there is a coalition of the three methods when handling the bodily remains of those executed.

New identity is constructed for the victim of genocide, one which radically erases the historical and political event that is the genocide itself. By means of identification and statistics the victim of the genocide is re-named as a missing person. The religious ritual of burial commits another act of erasing — by islamicising all the victims of genocide.

Contemporary science and religion thus holophrases the politics of terror which, in order to carry out the genocide in Srebrenica, first had to construct the object of their collective hallucination, the
‘Muslim-Islamic fundamentalist’, an object non-existent in pre-genocide society in BiH. This politics of terror, a terror of abstraction over reality, attempted to destroy Yugoslav Muslims completely. In other words, contemporary science, religion and the administration of post-genocide trauma repeat and perpetuate the politics of terror by other means. The very politics of terror, which were and are responsible for the victims of the genocide in Srebrenica.

Grupa Spomenik believes that the genocide is fully speakable, but that politics and critique of ideology are the only proper languages in which it can be spoken.

Through Matheme, Grupa Spomenik intervenes in the established dynamics of administering the genocide: it treats identification case numbers (assigned to the victims) as Mathemes, in order to disrupt the holophrasing of science and the politics of terror, and to maintain the openness of the gap, the rupture, that is constitutive of politics proper.

Grupa Spomenik (Damir Arsenijević, Ana Bezić, Jasmina Husanović, Pavle Levi, Branimir Stojanović, Milica Tomić and guest Branislav Jakovljević)

Tuzla/Belgrade/Rijeka/Palo Alto/Berlin

October, 2009


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