Venezuelans affected twice by COVID-19 actions in Latin America

Rigorous measures against the corona pandemic in Latin America affect the millions of Venezuelan migrants harder than local populations on the continent. The closure of borders with neighbouring countries also has far-reaching consequences for Venezuelans at home. International action is needed to avoid a worsening humanitarian drama. Mid-March, the Colombian government declared a state of emergency because of COVID-19, and abruptly closed its borders with Venezuela. In response, local authorities transported undocumented Venezuelans across the country to the border in hundreds of buses. Since informal businesses dried up and local soup kitchens closed in Cúcuta, the largest border town in …

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Naar een antropologie van Nederland

DOOR TOON VAN MEIJL De vraag naar de staat van de Nederlandse antropologie en eventuele veranderingen die zich daarin hebben voltrokken is interessant. In het buitenland wordt mij die vraag regelmatig gesteld, maar dan moet ik een helder antwoord helaas schuldig blijven. Inderdaad, ik denk niet dat de antropologie in Nederland kan worden gerubriceerd onder een label dat de nationale identiteit ervan zou kenschetsen. Maar waarom eigenlijk niet? En is dat erg? En was er in het verleden wel sprake van een Nederlandse antropologie, zoals Matthias Teeuwen verondersteld? De antropologie is altijd een marginaal vakgebied geweest. Het is nu moeilijk …

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‘Humanizing’ Indonesia’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response

BY RATU AYU ASIH KUSUMA PUTRI AND PAMUNGKAS A. DEWANTO While the rich industrial countries are simply readjusting their national budgets amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the fiscal options for the middle-to-low income countries seem to be strictly limited. The Indonesian government, for instance, has undergone about USD 51 billion deficit after allocating about USD 25 billion for the health sector and other incentives for the COVID-19 relief. Unfortunately, in coping with this unprecedented crisis, the government not only experiences financial deficit but also ‘implementation deficit’ in channelling the pandemic relief. Jokowi administration relies heavily on the centralized database and numeric …

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COVID-19 in a war zone

BY MARINA DE REGT “Marina, how are you? I am worried about you, how is the situation with Corona?” a Yemeni friend asked me last week via Whatsapp. It was not the first time that one of my friends showed their concern about the situation in the Netherlands, which touched me greatly. They are living Yemen, in the midst of a civil war that has led to the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world according to the United Nations, and worry about me, living in one of the most economically developed countries. Their concerns are inspired by the images they …

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Art, anthropology and authority

BY FREEK COLOMBIJN “Most anthropologists are failed novelists.” I have forgotten where I heard this quote for the first time or who said so, but it is correct that many anthropologists hope to develop their literary skills. There is perhaps not much difference between anthropologists and novelists, or artists in general. Both anthropologists and artists, or at least most of them, wish to tell something about the world and in their products recreate the world. Both anthropologists and artists begin their exploration of the world by careful observation. Quite a few anthropologists love to experiment with the form in which …

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Fieldwork and COVID-19: After a ‘Corona home run’ from Indonesia

BY SHANNON VAN LEEUWEN, EVELIEN VAN OVERVELD & FRIDUS STEIJLEN March 16, early in the morning I received a Whatsapp message from my student Shannon: ‘We received a letter from Campus saying that all students overseas should return home. What do you think?’ Wow, I thought, this is getting serious. There were already some Corona casualties in the Netherlands, mainly in the province of Brabant. Outside the Netherland mainly Italy and Spain were hit by the virus. Since 9 March we had stopped shaking hands, and between 12 and 15 March the so-called intelligent lockdown started. Initially until April 6, …

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New corona and anthropology

In the meantime, have a look at what some of our colleagues have been working on. Kim Knibbe (RUG) describes how a Nigerian Pentecostal megachurch is handling the virus. Leiden anthropologists have been actively blogging about the new coronavirus too. On this page, you will find an overview of their stories. Of a wholly different nature is the collection of memes and jokes Noel Salazar (KU Leuven) has been collecting on his Facebook page since the ‘ lockdown’. SpW hopes he will in due time present a viral anthropology analysis! Do you have a story to share about the virus? …

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

Corona choices

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 care …

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

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 give …

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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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