Ernesto Schwartz-Marin – Durham University

Name: Ernesto Schwartz-Marin

Organisation: Durham University

Disciplinary Area: Anthropology, Science and Technology

Research Area: Genetics/Genomics, Citizen-led Science, Forensics, Latin America, Complex Conflicts, Sovereignty and Lack of Rule of Law

Role: Research Provider


Which call are you planning to apply for?


What are your research interests?:

The history of Latin America has seen repeated conflicts resulting in the experience of situations of extreme violence and disappearances by its citizens. From the military dictatorships of the Southern Cone, to the civil wars in Central America; from the conflict in Colombia to the current Drugs War in Mexico; citizens have had to cope with the infringement of violence on their lived-worlds. Such conflicts are lived through everyday fears, killings, disappearances, displacements, and quotidian images of spectacular violence. However, extreme violence not only tears the social fabric; at the same time it produces and reasserts the social and humanitarian dimensions of shared (and even novel ways of) citizenship. My work explores these new forms of citizenship and the ways in which techno-science become a tool of both social and individual transformation, putting on its head the common tropes that link DNA and databases to surveillance, instead exploring how new forms of governance and knowledge production can become site to resist and face oppression, death and disappearance.

What is your offer?

By paying ethnographic attention to the technologies by which victims that are differentially socially placed (peasants, elites, migrants, academics and activists) and how they become new types of citizens and political subjects, I co-develop participatory methods and technologies to intervene in mass atrocities with them, and through their local knowledge and commitment to make the right to the truth a reality. I received the ESRC transformative research award in 2014, to develop the first ever citizen-led forensic model in the world, and in Mexico, resulting in game changing model of knowledge generation and intervention in humanitarian crises, which is still underway until January 2016.

Who would you like to collaborate with?

Innovative scholars, wishing to learn and put their knowledge to the test of participatory methods and transformative citizen-led technologies. Willing to explore new paradigms of knowledge production and governance.