By Peter Versteeg Recently Chris Cornell, singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died. Soundgarden is probably best known for their early nineties song ‘Black Hole Sun’, which is the invocation of a sort of natural disaster which will swallow everything that is ugly and false. It is a cry to be released from a depression that is caused by an awareness that life has become hollow and that the earth has been delivered into the hands of frauds, crooks and idiots. Cornell took his own life. Announcing his tragic death, news shows showed exactly this song as he played it during the last earthly gig he ever played. It is not difficult to feel its ominousness. Continue reading
Door Freek Colombijn De Nederlandse muziekindustrie schijnt het goed gedaan te hebben in 2015, maar de trend van fysieke muziekdragers als CDs is een gestaag dalende verkoop. De enige uitzondering hierop is de verkoop van vinyl, ouderwetse grammofoonplaten. De laatste platenspeciaalzaken hebben bakken vol elpees terwijl de CDs het met steeds minder ruimte moeten doen. Kenners zeggen dat het analoge geluid van een elpee mooier is dan het digitale geluid van een CD, maar dan moet je wel een goede installatie en goede oren hebben om het verschil te merken. Wellicht speelt er ook een element van nostalgie mee waarom grammofoonplaten het goed doen. Continue reading
Door Renske den Uil
During the first semester of the master Social and Cultural Anthropology, you are working on the development of a research proposal. After four intense months of reading, writing, re-reading and re-writing, you leave to the field. Then, for a three-month period of time, you are doing fieldwork and the distant words you have read throughout the first few months of the master, are now becoming personified in the stories and lives of your informants. You start to build relationships with these informants, some superficial and formal, others profound and sometimes even evolving into special friendships. After three months have passed, you have to leave the field again. The friends you have made stay behind, but with a suitcase full of data you carry their stories and lives with you.
These stories are fixed: in your notebook, in your photo’s, in your video’s, in your voice-recorder, and most of all in your mind and heart. Returning from the field, you face three more intense months in which you have to translate the reality of your informants back into words again. Solving the ethnographic puzzle leads to the final result of this master: a complete master-thesis. After a full academic year of toiling, floundering and doubt, you hand in your thesis and ultimately receive a grade that reflects the quality of your work. For many of us, this is where the thesis-era ends. For me, however, this was not the case.