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On paths not taken
Uğur Ümit Üngör
13 June 2022
published in Issue One

In Amsterdam, there’s a street named after Raphael Lemkin. It’s in the southeast, historically a mostly Surinamese neighborhood. Once, walking through, I saw two teenage kids playing football on a corner.

« Yo guys, » I tried, « do you live here? »

« Yes, » said the eye-rolling goalkeeper.

« Do you know who Raphael Lemkin is? » I asked.

« No we don’t, » replied the other, and kicked the ball with an aggression I suspect was directed at me.

...

As an academic field, « Genocide Studies » is a house with many rooms. It accommodates and even encourages a broadening of its central concept. And like all academic fields, it presumes its object of study will always be there.

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