The Kingdom of Ghosts
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Bearing witness is complex, and haunted by the past and the present. It takes place through and within a web of power relations attested by truth telling. This essay suggests that ghosts have the capacity to bear witness beyond the human in the disoriented world of the ganzfeld, presented here in the imbricated histories of Christmas Island. Ghosts offer non-human agency to the living. Their testimonies are reclamations of the world. We argue that spectral witnessing involves notions of calling to account, unblinking attention to what is, becoming aware of other realities that are present and the echoes of others (human and non-human) absent through their disappearance and excision from history or exclusion to the margins of society. These others include people seeking asylum, indentured labourers and their descendants, artists, and the living world.
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