Yellow fragmentation

By Irene Stengs. Bangkok, Sunday May 5. With hundreds of others, I am queuing to enter the restricted area around the Grand Palace where the Royal Land Procession will start at 4 PM. In this seven-kilometer procession, Thailand’s new king Vajiralongkorn (Rama X), seated on the Royal Palanquin carried by sixteen royal guards, will halt at three royal temples to pay respect to the temples’ Buddha images. The procession is part of the three-days coronation ceremonies and offers ‘the people’ the opportunity to see their monarch in real life and to pay their respect. The entrances are check points: before …

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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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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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Student Experience: The Scale of Avoidance

By Telissa Schreuder We all know it, the scale of avoiding things. Level one on that scale would mean no actual harm, all the while a severe level ten has something more of a major self-destructing result to it. Thinking back to exactly one year ago, the deadline of going to fieldwork in January would be ranged in about the same level on the avoidance scale as when back in the day my mother would ask who ate all the cookies in the cookie jar. Definitely a level ten. In both cases I was trying to avoid questions to such …

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At Europe’s Threshold – Bangladeshi Migrants in Greece

By Jessica van Vugt. This photo-essay is about Bangladeshi migrants in Athens, Greece. Using the case of the Bangladeshi migrants, I wanted to explore how the European discourse of strict immigration and asylum policies on the one hand and the growing deregulating labor markets featured by an increasing employers’ demand for cheap ‘flexible’ laborers, on the other hand, shapes the lives of economic migrants in Greece. The accounts of fifteen young Bangladeshi men together with my camera, which was always hanging on my shoulder, tell the story of how they experience, shape and navigate their lives. This photo-essay is based on that …

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‘Wasted hours in the field’ as a key to understanding the research topic

By Herbert Ploegman  Originally attributed to Winston Churchill, the statement “never waste a good crisis” has become an aforism that, by now, has been appropriated by many voices. The expression carries several layers, all of which contribute to its perceived versatility. Applying the statement to a research field in contemporary Greece may seem ironic or cynical, given the state of ‘crisis’ the country has gone through (or is currently under). Nevertheless, I feel confident enough to do this without too many scrupules. As an anthropologist having spent almost a year in Greece throughout the past few years, I believe that …

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Papa D. and the Privacy Law: New dilemmas for researchers*

By Fridus Steijlen Last April, I visited the mountain village of Bittuang in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia for the fourth time. This is one of the eight locations in which we record daily life for our audiovisual project Recording the Future. On each of our visits to Bittuang, we stay at Mama D.’s house. Visiting Bittuang and Mama D.’s makes me feel at home in the village and also within the family. We had already interviewed Mama D. and Papa D. a couple of times, along with their children and their partners.

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Online Open Research – A collaborative approach

By Matthias Teeuwen  –   Some time ago I wrote a blog about the possibilities emerging technologies offer to the practice of qualitative research. Back then, I wrote that ‘it seems that emerging technologies constitute a quantitative change in the way ethnographic research is done, and not so much a qualitative change’. Paolo Favero spoke of emerging technologies as leading to thin description. That is, they enable ethnographers to expand the scope rather than the depth of their research. Think about how smartphones, wearable cameras, and the internet can help researchers during fieldwork to gather larger amounts of observations, stories and …

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