The Summer Collection 2022 – Bringing up the Bodies (repeat)

Some of the zoomers

There have been appalling reports of mass graves in Ukraine following the Russian invasion. But this year has also seen new suspected mass graves found in Tarhuna, Libya, and a whistleblower telling US senators that there are still mass graves being dug in Syria for victims from the ongoing conflict.    

As investigating mass graves can be particularly challenging, wanted to re-run this episode we did in February 2021. Via zoom, we had a special podcast event with the support of The Hague Humanity Hub and the City of the Hague, on the legal side of handling mass graves. Kathryne Bomberger, the Director General of the International Commission on Missing Persons joined us, together with Agnes Callamard,  who was then the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions – and now Secretary General of Amnesty Int.

For background, you can read the Bournemouth Protocol here and Agnes’ report in which she called on States with burial sites and the international community to “uphold the many rights associated with their existence”.

For recommendations, we were a bit overwhelmed.

Kathryne had Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace on her bedside, was also browsing the History of the North Sea, and read Guardian recipes to help her relax.

Agnes was exploring the future of Artificial Intelligence and recommended Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill.

But we asked the zoom audience too – so here are their ideas too.

  • Molly Quell recommended The Blind Assassin by Margret Atwood. ‘And before I go to bed, I’m reading the Daily Rituals: Women at Work which is a compilation of how creative women get things done.’
  • Iva Vukusic said her current read was: Philippe Sands, the Ratline. Molly Quell agreed: ‘Such a great book Iva – I read it a few months ago’.
  • Melody Waterworth recommended listening to BBC’s Witness History podcast
  • Katharina Becker said ‘I really love the happiness lab podcast from Laurie Santos at Yale, that’s really great for wellbeing tips!
  • Jill Wilkinson recommended The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the talents by Octavia Butler and Homeland Elegies by Ayat Ahktar
  • Melody Waterworth recommended In extremis – Lindsay Graham
  • Selin Oren had watched ‘The Silence of Others’ documentary about the mass graves during the Franco regime – really incredible (on Netflix).
  • Melody Waterworth recommended War Doctor by David Not
  • Pamela Varela was reading Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa
  • Finally, Susanna Loof said Quo Vadis, Aida is a must-see film. Stephanie agreed, it’s also an Oscar contender this year.