Disposable Life: Jean Franco

Jean Franco. (Screengrab: Disposable Life)Jean Franco. (Screengrab: Disposable Life)“If you think of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia there were war crime tribunals set up because of atrocities in those places. Those atrocities were absolutely no worse than the atrocities perpetrated in Latin America, and the hand behind the perpetrators was the United States,” says Jean Franco.

Launched in January 2014, the histories of violence “Disposable Life” project interrogates the meaning of mass violence and human destruction in the 21st Century. Inviting critical reflections from renowned public intellectuals, artists and writers, this three year project will feature a series of monthly filmed reflections from our illustrious list of participants (see contributors below); a subsequent feature film for public broadcast; accompanying book of complementary essays and associated publications/media articles; along with a series of global events that will bring together the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to offer innovative and publicly engaging forums to inform debate and rethink the ideals of global citizenship.

The tenth contribution to our reflections series is provided by the renowned Latin American specialist Jean Franco. Drawing upon her extensive understanding and personal experience of the region, Franco maps out the history of state violence as perpetrated against disposable populations, notably indigenous, onto the privatization of atrocity in more contemporary times and what this means for normalizing a fatalistic politics that destroys hope and political transformation. Franco focuses directly here on the symbolic nature of violence against disposable bodies, onto asking searching questions regarding complicity and who should still be held responsible for past atrocities.