Van masterscriptie naar gepubliceerd boek: The Urban Gardens of Havana

Door Ola Plonska In juli 2017 was het eindelijk zover. Na maandenlang hard werken was dit het moment om onze masterscripties in te leveren. Ik herinner het mij nog alsof het gisteren was. Al voor openingstijd stond ik zenuwachtig voor de deur van de printshop om mijn scriptie te laten printen. Toen ik naar de afdeling liep hield ik het ingebonden werk dicht tegen me aan terwijl ik een gezonde dosis adrenaline door mijn lijf voelde stromen. Dit was het dan, het punt waar ik twee jaar lang naartoe had gewerkt. Destijds was ik er zeker van dat dit de …

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The Car Free Day in Surabaya: a pro-environment event?

By Freek Colombijn Every Sunday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. part of the main street of Surabaya is closed for all motorized traffic for an event that is called ‘Car Free Day’ (often abbreviated as CFD, Chay-Ef-Day). Car Free Days are organized in Jakarta and other major cities in Indonesia too, but I know the event best in Surabaya. I first attended the CFD as part of my research on pro-environmental behavior, but as it has turned out, it has little to do with the desire to reduce the use of the car. On the contrary. It attracts many …

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Why the Startup environment in Silicon Valley is more fruitful than in the Netherlands

by Vivienne Schröder At a pitch event I meet John “startup” Doe*. I am very biased to meet him after the pitches: That name sounds familiar. It sounds Dutch. We start talking, and I explain what I am doing in San Francisco. Before I know it Doe starts describing the difference between the Bay Area and the Netherlands. There are many more people interested to talk to Doe, so we schedule a meeting to talk again. Doe left the Netherlands about 25 years ago. He is on multiple advisory boards, also for Dutch startups, which gives him a unique view …

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Photo by James Seibold

Platform Cooperativism for alternative socio-economic models

By Jochem Kootstra We are most probably all familiar with internet-based platforms like AirBnB and Uber. Contemporary economies are increasingly mediated by and through such platforms, which gave rise to a Platform Economy or Sharing Economy. At the background of the aftershocks of 2008’s economic crisis, this has been promoting a disruptive market for individual workers and consumers. Since, the Platform Economy has insidiously evolved into the commodification of citizens via datafication of individuals’ internet usage, paired with emerging side effects regarding workers’ rights, rising wage inequality and its disguised top-down ecosystem, later opted Platform Capitalism. However, the internet-based platform …

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Tech Startup Culture: ‘I am machine’

By Vivienne Schröder For my master Anthropology at the VU Amsterdam, I am doing three months of fieldwork in San Francisco, where I am researching Tech Startup Culture. Through observations, informal talks and interviews like this one, I try to discover the daily practices and motivations of the humans behind the startups. My focus is mostly on the work-private life situation and the entanglement between humans and their business.

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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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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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Famine and War in Yemen

By Helen Lackner. The Geneva ‘consultations’ on 6 September between the two Yemeni warring parties failed to happen. According to the media, it was because the Huthis failed to show. In reality their demand was not unreasonable: guarantees of safe travel to and from Geneva in a neutral (Omani) plane and without ‘inspection’ from their opponent, the Saudi-led coalition. Observers and Yemenis are flooded with statements about the good internationally recognised Hadi government seeking peace and the evil ‘Iranian-backed’ Huthis wanting to continue fighting. However events point elsewhere, suggesting that the coalition’s asserted commitment to a political solution is little …

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Writing a tailor-made thesis

by Suzanne Jansen A finished thesis is a tailor-made product: it has that perfect mixture of scientific knowledge embedded in lively ethnographic tales of the field. In my case not only my thesis itself was a tailor-made product. The people my research was about also turned out to be, or at least tried to be, tailor-made: I did research among women with anorexia. Having had anorexia myself, I have been intrigued by its manifestations ever since: young girls, older women, girls that are walking all day, women who are not talking all day, women that purge, girls that don’t, scarily …

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Eenakter over het Vliegend Spaghettimonster

door Ton Salman 3 personages: antropoloog 1 (Lily), antropoloog 2 (Anabel), rechter (Veronica). Onlangs deed de hoogste Nederlandse bestuursrechter, de Raad van State, uitspraak in een hoog opgelopen zaak: hebben aanhangers van de Kerk van het Vliegend Spaghettimonster (zij noemen zichzelf pastafaris), het recht om op hun pasfoto’s een vergiet op hun hoofd te dragen? Zoals ook andere religies het recht hebben om een uitzondering te bedingen op het voorschrift dat het hoofd op zo’n pasfoto onbedekt moet zijn, wanneer er daarvoor godsdienstige of levensbeschouwelijke redenen zijn? De rechter stelde de Kerk van het Vliegend Spaghettimonster in het ongelijk. Het …

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