Summer Break!

Standplaats Wereld is going on summer break. We appreciate all the contributions to our blog this year and would like to wish everyone a great summer! Below a little recap of what’s happened on SpW since the start of the year. The COVID-19 pandemic has left a significant stamp on this year. Like many other anthropology blogs, Standplaats wereld has published reflections on the virus’ impact across the world. There are blogs about fieldwork during the pandemic, about lockdown and the ‘new normal’, and about how the pandemic differs across countries. Besides this, Standplaats wereld featured a short series on …

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Anthropology students’ achievement at the municipality of Amsterdam

By Puck de Boer What greater thing could happen to students in their Bachelor than doing a research that actually has impact in real life? Exactly this happened to four students from the VU Bachelor Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology. In the course Organisations and Anthropology, students do research for the municipality of Amsterdam. Afterwards, they translate their knowledge into a concrete policy advice. Rieky, Joost, Roos and Charlotte evaluated the municipality’s policy by researching the extent to which residents can participate in decision-making processes. They spent a month doing fieldwork at the Ringdijk and Weesperzijde to discover the effect …

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What ‘back to normal’ teaches me during Corona

BY PUCK DE BOER Whenever I visit my social media, I read posts of people claiming that this Corona virus enables all kinds of creative inventions and solutions. I see how people decide to broaden their skillset, take crash courses to cope with the online meetings and buy equipment to finally finish their kitchen garden. But most importantly, some people largely celebrate the flexibility that they have gained and imagine how this period will transform the way we live in a post-Corona era. Let’s be honest, I am one of those people. I finally bought Piketty’s Capital in the 21st …

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Is kennis van de Nederlandse antropologische traditie nog wel relevant voor hedendaagse antropologen?

VINCENT DE ROOIJ Historici verdedigen de relevantie van hun discipline vaak door te beweren dat kennis van het verleden nodig is om het heden te begrijpen en beter te doen in de toekomst. In die zin is het belangrijk dat elke academische discipline kritisch kijkt naar hoe haar dogma’s, institutionele organisatie, en vooral ook haar onderzoekskeuzes hun oorsprong hebben in het denken en doen van eerdere generaties. Matthias Teeuwen uit daarom terecht zijn zorg dat de antropologiebeoefening in Nederland lijkt te lijden aan een opvallende vorm van geheugenverlies: “Het lijkt erop dat het huidige [antropologische] collectieve geheugen vooral wordt bevolkt …

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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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