Speaking out of the cistem, or How to say something outside of the binary?

By Alenka Mrakovčić       We probably agree that language use is among the most taken-for-granted aspects of our daily lives. But what if within the language you use, you cannot find language uses that would represent you and your experience? How, then, does this impact the way you exist in the world? This was one of my main questions when I started working on my master thesis about trans experiences of language use.

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“Excuse me, what is that camera for?!”

By Telissa Schreuder. A camera is a funny little thing. Nothing but plastic and then some you would think. Just aim and shoot, nowadays times a thousand due to modern day technologies. The perfect accessory for an anthropologist, won’t you agree? You can lay your profound digital material next to your analogue notes, double-check if you have seen things ‘right’. And perhaps even more than that; you can hide behind it in times of insecurity. Whenever you don’t know what to do or want to avoid a dead conversation, just go for the camera, right? I have to admit, I …

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Vrouw in Jemen

Door Marina de Regt           In het Volkskrant magazine van afgelopen zaterdag 26 januari j.l. doet journaliste Ana van Es verslag van haar bezoek aan Jemen. De Midden-Oosten correspondente valt hier van de ene verbazing in de andere: alle stereotypen over man-vrouwverhoudingen in de Arabische wereld worden volgens haar in Jemen bevestigd. Vrouwen moeten zich zwaar sluieren, ze moeten zich onzichtbaar maken, ze worden continu lastig gevallen door mannen, ze worden gedwongen jong te trouwen, ze kunnen niet buitenshuis werken, als ze werken wordt hun geld afgepakt door hun mannen en ze hebben geen enkele politieke invloed. Op ironische wijze doet …

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Agbogbloshi (Photo: Google Maps)

“Welcome to Sodom” – Six myths about electronic waste in Agbogbloshie, Ghana

By Martin Oteng-Ababio & Maja van der Velden Agbogbloshie is an urban area in Ghana’s capital Accra, housing a vegetable market, a scrap metal yard, a large slum, an industrial area, and a household waste dump (see photo below). Agbogbloshie is a thoroughly polluted place and the people working in the scrap trade are exposed to serious health and safety risks, but this trade also generates much needed jobs for young men and contributes to an important repair and recycling culture. This complexity is lost to the Western media. Media portrayals focus almost exclusively on Agbogbloshie as an electronic waste …

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Bystander: On a migration experience

By Peter Versteeg A waiting room with benches and very bright light from a fluorescent tube. Clothes and shoes lying all around. There’s sand on the floor. I have to put my shoes in a closet and wait for the alarm to sound. The moment I sit down on a bench I realize I get impatient. And I think to myself: Ah okay, I know what this is. The refugee’s experience has a lot to do with waiting. Not exactly knowing what you are waiting for and why it takes so long. Okay, I understand what they try to get …

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Film and theory: Knots and Holes

By Matthias Teeuwen           “What becomes of the medium of film in the hands of an anthropologist?” asks Mattijs van de Port in the introduction to his new film Knots and Holes, an essay film on the life of nets (2018). This project, he tells us, was born from his frustration with the offer of films at ethnographic film festivals: they are all very beautiful and evocative and they manage to take us places we have never been for the length of their duration, but they pass over the most exciting thing about anthropology: theory. “What becomes of theory in …

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The Madwoman

© Mary Evans Picture Library / Alamy By Georgette Veerhuis It was around 10AM on Friday 19 January 2018 when Dolores suddenly rushed downstairs. ‘The Netherlands has gone mad!’ she yelled as she ran out of the house. ‘I’ll tell you all about it when I come back!’ The front door slammed shut. When Dolores returned, she immediately went upstairs and began making phone calls. When I went upstairs I found Dolores in her new study. Her laptop screen displayed a white page with blue details and an image of a smiling white man in a white coat. It was …

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Student Experience: The Scale of Avoidance

By Telissa Schreuder We all know it, the scale of avoiding things. Level one on that scale would mean no actual harm, all the while a severe level ten has something more of a major self-destructing result to it. Thinking back to exactly one year ago, the deadline of going to fieldwork in January would be ranged in about the same level on the avoidance scale as when back in the day my mother would ask who ate all the cookies in the cookie jar. Definitely a level ten. In both cases I was trying to avoid questions to such …

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At Europe’s Threshold – Bangladeshi Migrants in Greece

By Jessica van Vugt. This photo-essay is about Bangladeshi migrants in Athens, Greece. Using the case of the Bangladeshi migrants, I wanted to explore how the European discourse of strict immigration and asylum policies on the one hand and the growing deregulating labor markets featured by an increasing employers’ demand for cheap ‘flexible’ laborers, on the other hand, shapes the lives of economic migrants in Greece. The accounts of fifteen young Bangladeshi men together with my camera, which was always hanging on my shoulder, tell the story of how they experience, shape and navigate their lives. This photo-essay is based on that …

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