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This article explores how strategies of silence intersect with politics and predicaments of visibility. Contributing to historical and anthropological scholarship that asks how histories of violence shape individuals’ subjective navigation of silence, it suggests that the everyday work of silence needs to be understood within historical configurations of articulation in which (in)visibility takes an important place. Situating narratives of people living with HIV in Aceh, Indonesia, within recent local and national histories of violence, it shows how their strategies of silence and (in)visibility unfold within a bureaucratic urge of transparency and a social climate of anxiety about appearances. Extending anthropological insights on silence as an often powerful presence in social life by highlighting the dynamic of the (un)spoken and (in)visible, its central argument is that silence, speech and visibility can be fruitfully analyzed on a continuum of articulation and non-articulation.
Samuels, A. (2021). Strategies of silence in an age of transparency: Navigating HIV and visibility in Aceh, Indonesia. History and Anthropology, 32(4), 498–515. https://doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2020.1830384