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Selected Recent Publications

Unclear Lines: State and Non-State Actors in Abyei. In Vaughan, Chris; Schomerus, Mareike; and de Vries, Lotje (eds.) 2013. The Borderlands of South Sudan: Authority and Identity in Contemporary and Historical Perspectives. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Is a building a witness? Onsite Review 30: Ethics and PublicsAn essay on the decline of the figure of the witness, and the rise of forensics. Fall 2013.

Dreams are not made of Concrete. Fourth Genre. Volume 15, Issue 2. Fall 2013. A long essay on migration, money, and dreams, in Juba, South Sudan.

Dividing lines: Grazing and conflict along the Sudan-South Sudan border. (65,000 words). HSBA Working Paper No. 30. Geneva: Small Arms Survey. 18 July 2013.

Under the soil, the peopleOnsite Review 29: Geology. An essay on geology and the claims of memory. May 2013.

Influence: Three and a Half Metaphors. An essay on literary influence. The Waste Books. 20 April 2013.

Every thing has its own silence. An essay on sound and silence, in Marseille and Paris. Onsite Review 28: Sound. Fall 2012. You can read a version of this essay just prior to the final tearsheet here.

Islands of the Imagination. A short letter on islands. Onsite Review 28: Sound. Fall 2012. It is available here as a PDF. 

On the road to Yei. A reportage on rubbish in Juba, Southern Sudan. Anthropology News. 15 October. You can read it here

Death in Field. A short story about photography, compulsion, and gesture. Hotel Amerika. Fall Edition 2012. Volume 10. Number 2.

A sketch for the tent of the future. An essay on Qadhafi, nomadism, and the history of the Libyan state. Read it in Onsite Review 27: Rural Urbanism. 5 May 2012.

On hunting. A meandering exploration of exile, detectives, and, obviously, hunters. Originally published at The Waste Books. 13 January 2012. Then published as a letter in Onsite Review 27: Rural Urbanism. 5 May 2012.

just stay put and keep quiet. An essay on the form of the camp. Originally published at The Waste Books. 13 January 2012. Then published as a letter in Onsite Review 27: Rural Urbanism. 5 May 2012.

No lines, no peace? On the borders of Abyei. An essay on notions of territory in Abyei, Sudan. Anthropology News. 21 February 2012.

Moral Conquest: visiting the Wellcome Collection. On dirt and science. Onsite 26: Dirt. Fall Issue 2011.

Burning the future. On rubbish in Juba. Onsite 26: Dirt. Fall Issue 2011.

Self is a form. A selection of aphorisms. Hotel Amerika. Volume 10. Number. 1. Fall Edition 2011.

Breaking the cycle of violence in Sudan. Comment piece on clashes in Jonglei. Guardian. 3 September 2011.

Creating Facts on the Ground: Conflict Dynamics in Abyei. Small Arms Survey. Working paper available here in English, and here in Arabic. 7 July 2011.

Khartoum a bloqué les accords de paix à Abyei. Comment piece on the situation in Abyei. La Croix. 17 June 2011.

Animal Cities, on urban planning in Juba. Onsite 25: Identity. Spring Issue. The magazine is available here.

When the War Began. Short story about the outbreak of war. Annalemma Magazine. 13 April 2011.

Sudan’s proxy war. Guardian. 8 April 2011.

How we train our cops to fear Islam. Washington Monthly. (with Meg Stalcup). Original is here. 3 March 2011.

 A divided Sudan will test tribal tensions. Guardian. 7 January 2011.

 

Sunday
Mar232014

In Gurs

In summer 2013, I took a trip with Tony Craze, my father and a fellow writer, to Gurs, the site of a former internment camp near Pau, France.

We are now writing a book about the trip, On Passage, which is composed of a series of meditations on passage: for each stage of the trip, we both write about a moment of our journey, and then reply to the other's text. It is a conversation in fragments. Slowly, we are building up a patchwork of intersecting meditations on the theme of passage. Below the fold is a series of excerpts from my side of the exchange, meditating on Gurs. You can read earlier excerpts here and here.

You can read the new extracts over at Medium, in a beautifully crisp format, or below the fold.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar182014

Five new articles on the situation in South Sudan

I have five new articles out with Small Arms Survey on the situation in South Sudan--On Upper Nile, Unity, Abyei, the 14-Mile-Area, and the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone

Thursday
Feb132014

Better reading with Medium

I have uploaded a few of my shorter essays over at Medium, a website that has made crisp, clear presentation of text on the internet a breeze. You can read some of my recent work here.

Thursday
Feb132014

Photography Books

I have some brief notes on photography criticism up here, on the excellent anthropology blog Somatosphere, as part of their regular column, 'Top of the Heap.'

Saturday
Feb012014

UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary

I was chosen to be one of the four 2014 UNESCO Laureate Artists in Creative Writing. As part of the bursary, I will be spending several months this year on a writing residency at the Dar Al Ma'Mûn in Morocco.

Monday
Jan202014

Reuters Debate

I'll be talking as part of a Reuters panel on the situation in South Sudan. Wednesday, 12PM GMT.

 

Sunday
Jan122014

New piece on the conflict in Unity State, South Sudan

I have a piece out with Small Arms Survey on the conflict in Unity State, South Sudan. You can read it here.

Friday
Dec132013

En Route to Gurs

In summer 2013, I took a trip with Tony Craze, my father and a fellow writer, to Gurs, the site of a former internment camp near Pau, France.

We are now writing a book about the trip, On Passage, which is composed of a series of meditations on passage: for each stage of the trip, we both write about a moment of our journey, and then reply to the other's text. It is a conversation in fragments. Slowly, we are building up a patchwork of intersecting meditations on the theme of passage. Below the fold is an excerpt from one of my more recent entries. You can read an earlier excerpt here

 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec132013

The Borderlands of South Sudan

The Borderlands of South Sudan: Authority and Identity in Contemporary and Historical Perspectives is now out with Palgrave MacMillan. It was masterfully edited by Christopher Vaughan, Mareike Schomerus, and Lotje de Vries. 

I wrote chapter three, 'Unclear Lines: State and Non-State Actors in Abyei.' You can read an earlier draft of this chapter here

The concluding paragraph of the essay follows:

"In Abyei, border talk became a frame in which claims about the sovereignty and area of the territory were made visible. None of the actors, however, actually inhabited the frame. The Misseriya used the ABC and PCA to make a claim to Abyei that attempted to secure for themselves what are actually secondary rights to the territory; the NCP used border talk as a mask, to perpetuate a permanent precarity that allowed them to extract as much as they could from the territory. This is not to say, of course, that there are no rebound effects: as the Misseriya took up the maximal language of the state, they found their secondary claims (and the possibility of coexistence with the Ngok Dinka) eroded; by taking up the language of the state, they found their practical possibilities for action reduced to a binary between absolute ownership and absolute dispossession. The Sudanese state, on the other hand, continues to not require the demarcation of its own borders, and instead uses the discourse of state power as part of an apparatus that also sets up a structure of illegality: actors that the state can use, while disavowing their actions. Nomads acting like states. States acting like nomads."

You can order your copy of the book here

Friday
Dec132013

(Another) new Small Arms Survey article, this time on the 14-Mile Area

Small Arms Survey also published an article of mine on the 14-Mile Area between Northern Bahr el Ghazal and East Darfur. You can read it here.

Friday
Dec132013

New Small Arms Survey article on the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone 

Small Arms Survey also just published my article on the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone between Sudan and South Sudan. You can read it here. Short version: It's not safe, not demilitarized, and not even a zone. 

Friday
Dec132013

New Small Arms Survey article on the situation in Abyei

Small Arms Survey just published my latest piece on the situation in Abyei. You can read it here.

Thursday
Nov072013

New Onsite Essay: Is a Building a Witness?

I have an essay in the new issue of Onsite Review. It is about witnessing, forensics, and the status of speech today. You can read it in Onsite, get an online subscription to the magazine, or read a version of the essay below the fold. 

I.

In the spring of 1960, Mossad was in Buenos Aires planning the abduction of Adolf Eichmann, when it heard that Josef Mengele was in town. The agents running the operation didn't want to jeopardise it by taking on another target: Eichmann was captured and Mengele slipped away; his remains were exhumed in 1985. In Mengele's Skull: The Advent of a Forensic Aesthetics, Eyal Weizman and Thomas Keenan claim that Eichmann's capture and subsequent trial inaugurates the 'era of the witness', in which giving testimony against the excesses of state power becomes a central feature of political life. In contrast, the analysis of Mengele's skull, carried out in the 1980s, heralds the rise of a political emphasis on material objects and their forenisc analysis. As the figure of the witness loses authority in the 21st century, it is forensics—in architecture as much as in archaeology—that will increasingly take centre stage, legally and politically. It is not man that will testify, but his ruins.

 

Mengele's body is exhumed from a cemetery just outside Sao Paulo. The still is from television footage shown in Mengele's Skull, a film directed by Kerstin Schroedinger, and authored by Thomas Keenan and Eyal Weizman.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov032013

An extract from On Passage

In summer 2013, I took a trip with Tony Craze, my father and a fellow-writer, to Gurs, the site of a former internment camp near Pau, France. We are now writing a book about the trip, On Passage, which is composed of a series of meditations on passage: for each stage of the trip, we both write about a moment of our journey, and then reply to the other's text. It is a conversation in fragments. Slowly, we are building up a patchwork of intersecting meditations on the theme of passage. Below is an excerpt from one of my more recent entries:

13.

We have been writing about memories, condensed in objects, and yet when I think of train stations, what comes to mind are not objects, but their absence. 

My life is full of objects. These cumbersome things are often generated by the fact I have objectives, goals to set out towards, things to be achieved, and places to go.

The great joy of journeys is that they generate time in which my objective is near (it’s achievable), but momentarily out of my reach. I can’t yet board the train. I can’t yet get on with it.

This is the time for coffee in Quick, the molten brown liquor threatening to melt the plastic cup and cascade in an ambulance-journey of burns onto my hands. 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov012013

More on the referendum in Abyei

I have another article out with Small Arms Survey, this time on the results of the referendum in Abyei.