Pregnancies, high-school drop-outs and personal struggles: The joys of anthropological fieldwork

DSC_0327Laetitia Simorangkir. Now that I completed my thesis (on care arrangements in South African communities), I can really say that I love anthropology and do research. But there were times I did not like my work at all. In this blog I will explain why.

“Naoko told me that Salma had come to tell her that she was pregnant. Although the women were not related, Naoko seemed to take a parental-role towards Salma.” A fellow student, who reviewed the draft of my thesis, commented on this statement saying that I should explain more about the parent-child relationship: “Don’t leave it end so flatly. I want to hear what happens between them!”. When rereading my field diary, looking for more notes on these women, I realized I did not have that much information about them. And soon I remembered why. Lees verder

Summerholidays!

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The editorial team of Standplaats Wereld would like to wish you all a great summer, with lots of new experiences, a break from academic life (or not), trips and travels, reading and writing, and especially a lot of sun!

We thank all those who have contributed to our blog and look forward to many new stories, opinioned pieces, fieldwork experiences, and reports of interesting events. We also want to thank Rhoda Woets who will no longer be part of the editorial team. If you are interested in replacing her, let us know!

We are back in the week of August 15.

Marina, Peter, Georgette, Matthias and Heleen.

Keti Koti: een festival om niet te vergeten

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Door Inge Zwart  Op 1 juli 1863 besloot Nederland het tot slaaf maken van personen bij wet te verbieden. Die dag wordt in Amsterdam gevierd met het Keti Koti-festival in het Oosterpark en de Bigi Spikri optocht ernaartoe. Ik ben er voor het eerst bij.

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De dag van Brexit: Stof dat opwaait, stof dat neerdwarrelt en stof tot denken

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Voorblad van The Sun op 24 juni

Door Rhoda Woets            Op vrijdag 24 juni word ik om 6.00 wakker wanneer mijn telefoon piept. Ik open het bericht van een goede vriendin die al jaren in Engeland woont en geschrokken en met veel uitroeptekens haar ‘lieve mede-Europeanen’ laat weten dat haar geadopteerde vaderland gek is gewor-den. Bekomen van de schrik (leek het niet juist de goede kant op te gaan voordat ik ging slapen?) en geïnstalleerd achter een bureau op de VU is het moeilijk om mijn aandacht bij het werk te houden. Lees verder

How to keep in touch with anthropology

Annual Day of Anthropology, 20 May 2016

Annual Day of Anthropology, 20 May 2016

By Ina Keuper  For many students the last week of their studies at the anthropology department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) has ended today, for Bachelor’s students as well as Master’s. They have worked hard on finishing their final assignment, a thesis with which they prove their proficiency in writing an academic text within the time and word count set for it. The Master’s students presented the drafts of their thesis on the Master’s Festival of last week’s Tuesday, June 14th, while the Bachelor’s did so on the Bachelor’s Festival of Thursday June 16th. Lees verder

Should we all radicalize? Anthropology in times of capitalist crises

A response to the inaugural lecture of Dimitris Dalakoglou, Chair in Social Anthropology at VU University Amsterdam.

Refugee crisis in Europe, via creative commons

Refugee crisis in Europe, via creative commons

By Herbert Ploegman            As Dimitris Dalakoglou argued in his inaugural speech “Anthropology and Infrastructures. From the State to the Commons”, on the 13th of June, “our humanity and our human lives” are truly at stake in the events unfolding at the borders of Europe. He referred in particular to the people trying to cross the Mediterranean while facing extreme risks of drowning, but also to the modified forms of governance in Southern European countries over the years that we understand as crisis. Lees verder

African-Americans returning to Ghana: A photo blog

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Plaque on the wall of the W.E.B Du Bois Museum

By Marije Maliepaard            My Master’s research is about African-Americans who return to Ghana after their ancestors got enslaved and brought to the Americas during the slave trade. My research group themselves have not physically lived in Africa before but they do have the feeling they return. A famous African-American and Pan-Africanist who also returned was W.E.B. Du Bois. He was one of the founders of the American civil rights organization for ‘colored’ people, NAACP. Eventually, he settled in Accra, Ghana, but passed away three years later. He is buried next to his former house, which is now turned into a museum. Lees verder