Het ontstaan van een nationale held

Door Irene Stengs Op plekken waar mensen op een dramatische manier om het leven zijn gekomen ontstaat de laatste decennia vaak een tijdelijk monument bestaande uit bloemen, kaarsen, foto’s, teksten, knuffels en andere, voor de overledene(n) specifieke, attributen. Peter R. de Vries raakte bij de aanslag zwaargewond, maar toch is ook in de Lange Leidsedwarsstraat op de plek des onheils een vergelijkbare gedenkplek ontstaan. Dergelijke plekken vormen als het ware de materiële neerslag van de emoties die door het geweld en het leed dat hieruit voortkomt worden opgeroepen. Hoewel de aard van de reacties evident lijkt is het toch relevant …

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Labeling the Schilderswijk

By Sophie Koolma Many labels are applied to Schilderswijk, a multicultural neighborhood in the city of The Hague. Slum, ‘problem area’, ghetto, disadvantaged, poor. These are all words which people use to describe this neighborhood. Schilderswijk’s young adults are confronted with this negative image of their neighborhood on a daily basis, while searching for an internship or a job, for example, or talking to co-workers. Some even hide the fact that they live in Schilderswijk because they are afraid of people judging them or their neighborhood. However, this neighborhood is seen as warm and welcoming by most of its inhabitants. …

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Listening to Your Gut

By Senske de Vries     Before the thesis-period actually started I was somewhat hesitant about how this would be. I had heard from others that they hated working on their thesis. They described it as the worst part of their studies because it was very time-consuming and not fun to do. Even though I was quite excited about it, I kept thinking ‘the worst has yet to come’ throughout the whole process. But after having finished it, I am able to say that ‘the worst’ did not come. I was lucky to choose my own topic, so I focused on experiences …

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Myanmar anthropologists dismissed

By Maaike Matelski – In this picture, anthropology students from Yangon University show the ‘three fingers salute’ for democracy. Students and university staff across Myanmar have been protesting against the recent military takeover. Since the coup of 1 February, the military has seized control of dozens of schools and university campuses. It has used lethal force against peaceful protestors, resulting in at least 860 deaths, including many university students. Over 5000 students, teachers, journalists and other dissidents have been arrested, as well as a small number of Westerners. Australian academic (and adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD government) Sean …

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Mourning for Amina, Mourning for Yemen

By Marina de Regt. “Marina, if I die, will you then forgive me for all the trouble that I caused you?” my Yemeni friend Amina wrote me ten days ago. I have known Amina since my very first days in Yemen in 1991 and was in regular touch with her via Whatsapp. “I am very ill, I have Corona, please help me, Marina, I am going to die, the treatment of Corona is very expensive, please help me”. A few weeks earlier Amina had written me that Corona was spreading in Rada’, the small town in Northeast Yemen where I …

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Writing your thesis – some tips and tricks

By Matthias Teeuwen Over the course of my studies I have received a lot of advice on how to best go about writing my thesis. In this blog, I have curated some of the more helpful bits of advice that have really helped me meet my deadlines, give structure to the way I work and to generally keep on top of things. I present them here in chronological order, but it is common to cycle through them a couple of times during the process because that is just the nature of writing a thesis: it changes over time. Make a …

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Anthropology and religion at the Vrije Universiteit – a short history

By Matthias Teeuwen The Vrije Universiteit originally had a strong confessional commitment to the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and I have always wondered how anthropology meshed with this confessional background. I wondered particularly at the tensions inherent to  missionary work and anthropology. It turns out this confessional background has given anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit a history that is quite distinct from other anthropology departments in the Netherlands. Anthropology in the Netherlands, or at least its constitutive parts, can be traced back to the 1770s according to historian Han Vermeulen. In the nineteenth century there was an academic discipline …

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De ondergang van de yup: The Nest en het failliet van het neoliberalisme

Door Peter Versteeg Veranderen, verandering – waarom willen we dat eigenlijk? Weten we werkelijk  waarom we soms ons leven om willen gooien of zijn onze motieven ten diepste verborgen voor ons zelf? Onze wil om te veranderen is ook geen kwestie van begrijpen, zal iemand zeggen. Het gaat erom dat je het voelt, zoals het hedendaagse adagium voorschrijft.  Rory, de Britse hoofdpersoon uit The Nest, wil ook iets anders. Hij is een durfkapitalist, iemand met de expliciete ambitie rijk te worden binnen een money making business. Rory is wat we een yup zouden noemen. Niet gedreven door het volgen van …

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Mobility and immobility during the pandemic: Experiences on a journey from Amsterdam to Semarang

By Pamungkas (Yudha) Dewanto           As a response to the global corona crisis, authorities all over the world set strict health protocols for travelers. Focusing on the case of China, anthropologist Biao Xiang argues that the COVID-19 epidemic has triggered grid reactions: “Residential communities, districts, cities and even entire provinces act as grids to impose blanket surveillance over all the residents, minimize mobilities, and isolate themselves.” Grid reactions, he argues, are however not about community grids only; the term more generally refers to all-out, undifferentiated, war-like strategies to combat the virus. In this blog, I share how such grid reactions played …

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A picture of a trocha through which David passes almost every day to reach Cúcuta.

Localising the Pandemic: Understanding Global Disruption through Online Media

by Maddalena Conte It does not happen every day that a worldwide crisis completely overturns a discipline’s research methods, giving no choice but to experiment with new practices. This is exactly what is going on in anthropology due to the Covid-19 pandemic: by not being able to go “in the field”, which, anyways, would probably be empty, ethnographers need to expand their methodological horizons, and, together with most areas of life, take research online. In my case, as a second-year Cultural Anthropology student, I gladly accepted Professor Eva van Roekel’s offer to assist her in pioneering social media research, on …

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