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Accepted Contribution:

An engagement to feminist postcolonial epistemologies in forensic sciences  
LUCÍA EXPÓSITO-CÍVICO (University of Granada) Laura Florez (Graduate Institute of Geneva)

Short abstract:

Our proposal consists of a dialogue session (30 minutes long) about our STS research contexts: the forensic techniques used in the exhumations of mass graves in Spain and Colombia. From feminist perspectives, we critique the bioscientific and colonial aspects that permeate scientific practice.

Long abstract:

During the "COST Action: Unearthing traces of contemporary European conflicts: Materiality, Memory and Technology" in 2023 autumn, we discuss research questions from the postcolonial feminist perspective in forensic sciences. Our arguments coincided on highlighting the urgency of a polyphonic and interdisciplinary forensic narrative to challenge scientific theories in relation to mass graves. Specifically, we focused on the critique of genetic identification, the consideration of materialities and the idea of reparation.

In times of making and doing transformations, our critical reflection aims to 1) claim for a postcolonial feminist perspective applied to the techniques and procedures in forensic fieldwork and 2) deepen in feminist genealogies that ground bioethics and territory as interspecies cartography. We would explore the conceptual and practical possibilities of this proposal engaging our fieldworks and drawing on recent works by other feminist researchers that focus on ‘traces around human remains’ (Crossland, 2013), ‘colonial effects of the forensic turn’ (Robledo Silvestre, 2019) and ‘the affect and care theories in forensic spheres’ (Olarte-Sierra y Pérez-Bustos, 2020).

This contribution rethinks forensic methodological approaches from subaltern academic institutions situated in contexts of war and impunity. Through a dialogue between two fieldworks on mass graves in Southern Spain and The Pacific Coast of Colombia, we interrogate how postcolonial feminist epistemologies might create other ways of doing and transforming the forensic sphere as a bioscience. Especially, reflecting on genetic identification processes and their consideration of DNA in relation to the concept of reparation.

Combined Format Open Panel P252
Feminist biologies: models, practices and engagements
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 July, 2024, -