© Indrid_Cold (https://www.flickr.com/photos/fredisonfire/49655326671/), via Creative Commons.

Corona choices

WRITTEN BY FREEK COLOMBIJN Rumours, new societal practices, new state policies and self-imposed restrictions by organizations spread as fast as the Corona virus itself. It is almost certain that by the time this blog is published, or even by the time I stop writing, the situation has changed. What is clear: it is the rapid pace of the infection that is the biggest challenge for society, more than the lethality of the virus itself. Health systems run the risk of not being able to give large numbers of patients the necessary intensive care, hospitals are short of respirators, and health …

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On the Brink of a Pandemic; “World, jiāyóu”

WRITTEN BY JOP KOOPMAN The city of Wuhan, ground zero of the coronavirus, is 6 six days under lockdown when residents take to WeChat and start to suggest that they should chant uplifting phrases from their apartment windows to one and another. The participants decide that at 20:00 p.m. on the 28th of January the chanting commences. As planned, the participants take to the windows and start to chant: Wuhan, jiāyóu!” from apartment to apartment, to building to building, filling the air with words of solidarity. A sense of harmony that’s unique and powerful in times of crisis.  A video …

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A revolution covered in smoke and gas clouds – Trying to make sense out of the political chaos in Lebanon

WRITTEN BY BRAM VAN DER HEIJDE Since the 17th of October, the Lebanese streets have been filled with demonstrators trying to ‘take down the sectarian system’ that has been in place since the end of the civil war. While the protests that broke out in all major cities were all over the international news, by now most of the international media have lost interest in Lebanon. In January, I started my field work on political activism in Beirut and since I arrived, people back home keep asking me about the situation over here. I am however finding it difficult to …

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Nationalisme – een kwestie van goede smaak

DOOR TON SALMAN Nationalistische betogen kunnen zelden bekoren. Ze zijn altijd wat gezocht. En wat hooghartig. En contingent. Immers: hebben de Nederlanders nu werkelijk unieke kwaliteiten, van het kaliber waar de mensheid echt wat aan hééft, en waar andere volkeren of groepen zich niet op kunnen beroepen? En zonder het demagogisch bij elkaar te jokken? Zoals “tolerantie”? Of zijn we “polderanten”? Of lekker libertaire en olijke red-light-district-aanbieders? Twijfelachtig allemaal, toch? Hooghartig: zijn we beter of zo? Waarin dan? Rechte slootjes graven? Tweede Pinksterdagen handhaven? Stormvloedkeringen bouwen? Files bestrijden? Gelijkheid voor vrouwen? Weinig redenen om te pochen. En los daarvan: wie …

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Collecting waste in Sicily: old and new ways

BY FREEK COLOMBIJN Every human settlement has to think of a way to dispose its solid waste, but each place finds its own particular ways to do this. I was once again forced to think about this simple fact on holiday in Sicily. Two peculiarities of Sicily are its rugged terrain, with old fortified towns up in the hills, and the many tourists that visit the island who are perhaps more careless away than they would be at home. How does Sicily deal with these challenges? Castelbuono is a picturesque town with a medieval core, hundred kilometres from Palermo. The …

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Teaching Intersectionality intersectionally: two different cups of tea?

BY KAY MARS Intersectionality has become somewhat of a buzzword in contemporary social sciences. It provided a short-hand term for a more complex and comprehensive understanding on identity, which would take into account the ways in which people are invariably positioned through differences in gender, class, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, ablebodiedness, and more. This theoretical perspective, however, often overshadows more practical approaches in conversations about intersectionality. In a diversifying classroom, the theme of intersectionality is increasingly relevant. But teaching about intersectionality and teaching intersectionally is not self-evident for every lecturer. To provide hands-on tools for lecturers to integrate the concept of …

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ANZAC Parade in Adelaide: a tough nationalist monument with soft edges

BY FREEK COLOMBIJN More than two decades ago I published an article on the urban symbolism of Canberra, the national capital of Australia. When Australian states federated to become an independent state in 1901, it was a nation in search of a national identity. The exploits of Australian troops in the First World War, and in particular the ill-fated landing at Gallipoli in the Bosporus, formed a source of inspiration and the result is that monuments that commemorate the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) loom large in the formation of Australian national identity. The martial imaginary was reinforced …

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Happy New Year!

The editorial team of Standplaats Wereld wishes you all a Happy New Year! A big thank-you to everyone who has contributed to Standplaats Wereld in 2019! We appreciate your insights, reviews, and analyses. Over the course of 2019 we welcomed more than 9000 visitors to our site. A quick look at our top ten performing blogs tells us that you especially appreciated our on-the-ground anthropological analyses of current affairs, such as the mass protests in Ecuador and the situation of women in Yemen, our reviews of movies and books, such as the Truman Show and Black Panther, and our reflections …

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Braderie op de Dam

DOOR IRENE STENGS In het kader van de actie ‘Boer Burger Brunch’ stonden er afgelopen 13 december 28 trekkers op de Dam. Doel van dit boerenprotest: het gesprek aangaan met de bewoners van Amsterdam om zo meer begrip voor ‘de boer’ en ‘het boerenbedrijf’ te genereren. De actie was georganiseerd door Agractie (#onzeboerenonsNederland): een organisatie die een algemene ‘herwaardering van de boer’ als missie heeft. In navolging van het zogenoemde ‘goedmaakontbijt’ na het massale boeren-met-trekkers-protest op het Malieveld van 1 oktober serveerden boeren en boerinnen ‘producten van eigen bodem’. Onder de rood-wit-blauwe zeilen van de opgestelde marktkramen werden massaal witte …

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Reciprocity in Silicon Valley: The prominent role of gift giving among tech entrepreneurs in the Bay Area

BY VIVIENNE SCHRÖDER During my three months of fieldwork in the Bay Area on the work/private life situation of early-stage tech startup founders, I learned the real importance of Marcel Mauss’ essay The Gift (1966). In this essay, Mauss stressed the important role of gift giving in the archaic societies he studied. He argued that through obligations of giving, receiving, and returning gifts, societies create bonds, and in this way stability and cohesion in a society. Yet, more than 50 years after The Gift was published, I saw Mauss’s insights reflected among tech entrepreneurs in the Bay Area. During the …

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