Death & Justice : An Ethical Response to Massacre

Book chapter


Fredericks, Vanessa. (2020). Death & Justice : An Ethical Response to Massacre. In Re-Imaging Death and Dying pp. 237-245 Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9781904710820_022
AuthorsFredericks, Vanessa
Abstract

This paper applies Derrida’s ‘politics of mourning’ to a particular event in Polish history, namely the Katyn massacre of WWII. For Derrida, mourning is an ongoing entrusted responsibility to the Other. It is an ongoing responsibility to memory of the Other and a responsibility in the face of a heritage. This work of mourning is not to be perceived as only a responsibility to our immediate friends, but is also to be seen as a political and collective responsibility, especially when the lives we are mourning are lost as a result of politics. With a focus on ethics, responsibility and justice, this paper is a way of thinking and responding to this particular massacre. It is an attempt to break the silence that existed after the event for so long and it is a call for justice. But what exactly is justice? Is justice a necessary part of mourning? What is the most ethical way to mourn? What is an ethical response to a massacre around which there has been so much silence? We can begin to answer these questions by using Derrida’s idea of mourning as a future-oriented memory which is dedicated to an ethical responsibility to the trace of the Other. To be silent, to be non-responsive, is an unethical response to this event.

KeywordsDeath; Social science; Popular Culture; Sociology
Page range237-245
Year01 Jan 2020
Book titleRe-Imaging Death and Dying
PublisherBrill
Place of publicationNetherlands
ISBN978-1-904710-82-0
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1163/9781904710820_022
Web address (URL)https://brill.com/display/book/edcoll/9781904710820/BP000022.xml
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online25 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Feb 2024
Additional information

© Inter-Disciplinary Press 2009.

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