Summer break!!

We are pretty sure that summer is here! If you have no idea what to do with all this spare time, let’s see whether we, the SpW editorial team, are able to inspire you. Wiebe Radio show (and book): Het mirakel van België (2022) by Maarten InghelsEver heard of a mythomaniac? In this novel, Flemish writer Maarten Inghels follows the biggest trickster ever in Belgian history. He pretends to be a diplomat, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, judge, and billionaire, yet only has an IQ of 75. Interested? Listen to this interview with the author (in Dutch). Pia Book: World …

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Identiteitspolitiek tussen recht, rechts en averechts

Door Ton Salman en Marina de Regt  Er spelen al een aantal jaren stevige debatten over de vruchtbaarheid van identiteitsdenken als politieke strategie, als strategie om te strijden tegen onrecht, discriminatie en uitsluiting. Wikipedia omschrijft zulke identiteitspolitiek als “het bedrijven van politiek vanuit de sociale identiteit van een bepaalde groep en de door deze groep gedeelde ervaring van maatschappelijk onrecht”. Bedoelde groepen betreffen onder meer mensen die een bepaalde etniciteit, seksuele oriëntatie, gender, leeftijd, minusvaliditeit, religie, of migratieachtergrond delen. De uitsluiting die deze groepen op basis van hun gedeelde identiteit ervaren, is voor hen de reden om van die identiteit …

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Introducing: Anthrocine

by Jasper Schotte Anthrocine is the film club of the anthropology department -for students, and organised by students and faculty members.  An important film or documentary is screened each month, with a panel discussion and Q&A afterwards. Everyone who wants to enjoy a good film and widen their perspective is welcome! On June 24, Anthrocine showed with great success the documentary White Cube in VU Rialto for the last screening of the academic year 2021-2022.  In the documentary, director Renzo Martens addresses the horrible living conditions of Congolese plantation labourers working for Unilever. A history of violence and cultural appropriation intertwines …

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Unearthing a Fragile Root of Democracy

By Pia K. R. Beiermann, second-year student of CADS This Saturday I wake up slowly, a bit later than usual. Still in a morning fogginess best described as half-asleep, half-awake, I mindlessly open Instagram. The first thing I see is a story by Amnesty Norway that reads “It’s heart-breaking what happened in Oslo last night (…)”. Still not in a state to comprehend what I just read, I quickly open NRK, the government-owned public broadcasting company of Norway: At least two people dead and 21 hurt in a mass shooting outside the gay bar “London Pub” This year marks the …

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The Noise of Russian Silence

By Ekaterina Thor, second-year Bachelor student of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology  Opening our daily news feed on the 24th of February, most of probably needed a second to realize what was going on. Ukraine, a country generally outside of our daily discourse and with a conflict old enough to have been forgotten about by the general public, was suddenly on everyone`s screens and tongues. Blue and Yellow became the colours we cannot unsee anymore. Kyiv was under attack, and suddenly our attention was drifted away – two years of intensive Corona updates was left behind to follow the situation …

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There and back again

by Shunita Gerritsen With a loud, blunt clonk the ferry arrives. The gate slowly comes down while the flashing lights and loud beeping alert the impatiently waiting passengers. Almost before the way is cleared, people already pour out, while some traffic controllers in neon vests try in vain to guide the controlled chaos. Ever since I first started high school, I use the central station ferry almost every day. As a connection between the bustling city center and Amsterdam ‘Noord’, it’s the only way for bikers and pedestrians to pass the sometimes calm, sometimes rowdy waters of the IJ. With …

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Het doodlopend pad naar de brede avenue: Lithium in Bolivia

Door Ton Salman  Je kunt de patstelling op meerdere manieren formuleren: je bent een land met een lange en wrange geschiedenis van plundering van je rijke natuurlijke hulpbronnen, en tegelijkertijd het land dat naar verluid ’s werelds grootste voorraden heeft van een grondstof waar de wereld op dit moment naarstig naar op jacht is en veel geld voor wil betalen: lithium. Onmisbaar in up-to-date batterijen. Nodig in bijna alle consumentenelektronica: van mobile telefoons via hoortoestellen en elektrische boren tot e-auto’s. Maar wordt dat opnieuw een rondje uitverkoop? Of een andere vorm voor diezelfde patstelling: ze staan in de rij voor …

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Entering the World of Fieldwork: first experiences at the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam

By Zoë Oosterveld Entering the field The first day in the field was nerve-wracking for me. Firstly, because this was my first time ever doing official fieldwork. Secondly, I was apprehensive about approaching people to ask them questions. I feared that there would be many people who would object to us interviewing them or consider our questions a waste of their time. However, I quickly realized that this was my anxiety filling me with unnecessary fear. I was relieved to conduct the fieldwork together with one of my group members, who, on our ferry ride to the NDSM Wharf in …

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Who needs shopping malls?

By Ton Salman There are markets. There are big markets. And there is the superlative degree of market. Arguably, that is the Feria de 16 de Julio, in El Alto, Bolivia. We are talking here a genuine street market: it has the stalls, the ambulant system, the vanishing of it all in the evening. The 16 de Julio is claimed to be the biggest in the Americas. It occupies a big chunk of El Alto, the new, still rapidly growing neighboring city of La Paz, on the highlands adjacent to Bolivia’s governmental seat La Paz (which is not Bolivia’s official …

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Ethnographic Monographs – or now for something else?

By Herbert Ploegman; Didi Boldewijn, Maya Roettger and Lorenzo Horwitz; Alice Riva, Claudia Rapisarda, Elisabeth Jongmans and Jasper Schotte; Ashley Prather and Maira van Emden Two crumpled up sheets of paper: the only traces left of the course Ethnographic Monographs that I took about a decade ago at our department of anthropology. Retrieved from a pile of old documents, I find on them forty-five book titles divided into two categories: “Classic monographs (from before 1970)”, and “Contemporary monographs (after 1970)”. As a student, I had to pick and read one from each, although I can’t remember if we were told …

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