This chapter focuses on the phenomenon of â€˜commissionsâ€™ for the recovery of human remains that have proliferated across Timor-Leste. I argue that the commissionsâ€™ practices constitute forms of â€˜nonstate governmentalityâ€™ (de Cesari 2010, 625) that take the governmentâ€™s valorisation programme in unexpected directions. By working to exhume, identify, and categorise the dead the commissions are, to some extent, contributing to the stateâ€™s goal of dignifying martyrs. At the same time, they are potentially enlarging the definition of martyrdom beyond the stateâ€™s narrow interpretation. Ultimately, the commissions bring to light the nationâ€™s painful history and remind the state of its responsibility to dignify all the nationâ€™s martyrs.
|Title of host publication||The Dead as Ancestors, Martyrs, and Heroes in Timor-Leste|
|Editors||Lia Kent, Rui Graca Feijo|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Publisher||Amsterdam University Press|
|ISBN (Print)||978 94 6372 431 9|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|