Some thoughts on film in ethnography

By Ina Keuper     On 7 December the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology organized its second Ethnographic Film Day, which featured four rather different ethnographic documentaries. Former staff member Ina Keuper was there and shares some thoughts on Standplaats Wereld about these particular films and the role of this visual medium in anthropology.

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Match-making: the Pakistani way

By  M. Amer Morgahi      Migration has its own dynamic of bringing people together in situations or locations where they otherwise might not have thought of. However, migration sometimes also compels people to take certain steps, occasionally out of sheer desperation, otherwise just to make use of new possibilities created.

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Ankara’s Long Arm: Notes on the Amsterdam Anthropology Lecture Series (AALS)

By Matthias Teeuwen            Last Thursday Professor Thijl Sunier gave a lecture on the backlash in the Netherlands of the coup attempt in Turkey in July. The room was packed with students, faculty members and other people interested in the subject. What Sunier particularly succeeded in, was challenging and debunking the assumption that the concern Turkish-Dutch citizens showed with the coup and its consequences was an indication of failed integration on the part of these Turkish-Dutch citizens. Sunier argued that this is not a case of failed integration; instead, this is a case of the complex and transnational interplay between religion, …

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Should we all radicalize? Anthropology in times of capitalist crises

A response to the inaugural lecture of Dimitris Dalakoglou, Chair in Social Anthropology at VU University Amsterdam. By Herbert Ploegman            As Dimitris Dalakoglou argued in his inaugural speech “Anthropology and Infrastructures. From the State to the Commons”, on the 13th of June, “our humanity and our human lives” are truly at stake in the events unfolding at the borders of Europe. He referred in particular to the people trying to cross the Mediterranean while facing extreme risks of drowning, but also to the modified forms of governance in Southern European countries over the years that we understand as crisis.

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African-Americans returning to Ghana: A photo blog

By Marije Maliepaard            My Master’s research is about African-Americans who return to Ghana after their ancestors got enslaved and brought to the Americas during the slave trade. My research group themselves have not physically lived in Africa before but they do have the feeling they return. A famous African-American and Pan-Africanist who also returned was W.E.B. Du Bois. He was one of the founders of the American civil rights organization for ‘colored’ people, NAACP. Eventually, he settled in Accra, Ghana, but passed away three years later. He is buried next to his former house, which is now turned into a …

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The Political Agency of Refugees

By Matea Curcovic Westendorp        Dr. Cindy Horst is an anthropologist located in Oslo, Norway where she works as a senior researcher at the research institute PRIO. Her main focus for the past 20 years has been on refugees – from spending two years in a refugee camp in Kenya researching Somali refugees, to more recently collecting life stories from refugees residing in Oslo.

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“I was nowhere”

By Marie Linne    Dalal contacted me during my fieldwork among refugees who aspire to study in the Netherlands. She agreed to meet with me for an interview, to talk about her experiences as a refugee and as a student in the VASVU programme at VU University Amsterdam. It is a 9 month long programme, that tries to function as a bridging programme for international students before they enter a Dutch Bachelors programme. About 80 percent of the students are refugees, and the course provides them with the basics in different subjects. It is mostly set up with the aim to …

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A different kind of pilgrimage

By Dimetri Whitfield    The most surprising thing for me about conducting fieldwork is that you encounter all these interesting people that ultimately do not end up in your final project. Alieu Sowe (this is a pseudonym to protect his identity) is one such person. He is Fula by ethnicity, Gambian by nationality, taxi driver by occupation, and refugee by aspiration. One cool February evening, after his 14 hour work-day, and my 3 hours of writing field notes, we sat down and chatted. Like most 20-something Gambian men, “backway” was on his mind. “Backway” is the illegal method of migrating …

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Keulen: een goed begin?

Door Reinhilde K?nig en Marina de Regt       De discussie over de gebeurtenissen in Keulen doet ons als feministen diep zuchten. Het debat rond seksueel geweld wordt al jaren gekaapt door rechtse politici en liberale onruststokers. Sinds de Amerikanen in Afghanistan oorlog voeren onder het mom dat meisjes weer naar school moeten gaan en de rechtse politieke spits in Nederland alles omarmt wat homo is, is een discussie over het beschermen van ‘onze vrouwen’ gevaarlijk dubieus. Een agenda waarin seksueel geweld en “vreemdelingen” in één adem genoemd worden, is een agenda die vrouwen- en mensenvijandig is en niets met …

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Over ‘anders’ zijn als politicus

Door Menno van den Bos Begin dit jaar werd Khadija Arib voorzitter van de Tweede Kamer. De reacties op internet liepen uiteen. Pakweg de helft was positief, met als strekking: in-spirerend dat een vrouw als zij (Marokkaans, moslim) het tot deze prestigieuze positie heeft geschopt. Daartegenover stond een even grote lading onderbuikgeluiden. De aanstelling van Arib zou symbool staan voor politiek-correctheid en de lange arm van Marokko. Sommigen bleken in haar zelfs een pion van de naderende islamisering van Nederland te zien.

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