Peace versus Justice in Uganda

Interesting documentary on Monday 23 November at 20.55 hrs on Dutch channel 2 Kill one person, and you’re a murderer. Kill many, and you become a hero. It is this type of global injustice that the International Criminal Court was set up to prevent. The court, which is functioning since 2002, has the mandate to prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is the first international body that can legally hold accountable sitting heads of state, as became clear when an arrest warrant was issued against Sudanese president Al Bashir earlier this year. At the moment, the first …

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Inaugural lecture on China’s foreign concessions

 Thursday, November 19th, Prof. dr. Pal Nyiri hold his inaugural lecture called ‘Foreign concessions: the past and future of a form of shared sovereignty.’  How are China’s experience of Western colonialism and today’s Chinese projects in Southeast Asia and Africa related to each other? What are the similarities between the 19th century foreign control over customs and security in treaty ports on Chinese territory and contemporary concessions on for instance palm oil plantations in Congo-Kinshasa? And why do we need both anthropology and history to understand these connections?

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Gangs and Political Violence in Kenya

By Naomi van Stapele Wanaich looked at me with an intense look in his eyes: “They just took that man… and cut him with a panga [machete in Kiswahili]. Then they come to me and ask for my ID. It was like a checkpoint. They put kuni [firewood in Kiswahili] and stones on the road. There was no way you could pass them, and they want to know if you are PNU so they look at your ID. I was scared

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Yoga in Cuba: Trojan horse or subtle trick?

By one of our former MA-students   Post 1959, Cuban people have been muted about the harshness of their daily life conditions and incited to praise the revolution achievements of Fidel Castro’s regime. In anthropological terms, we would say that their agency was constrained: freedom of thought, of speech and association were restricted to the extent that people traded their own critical sense and capacity for revolt for a collective revolutionary mentality that was aimed at providing them with a better future. Nevertheless, in the face of the 1990 economic crisis, the Cuban people’s awareness has begun to crack: as a …

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Financial Crisis Worldwide (3): Bolivia

Door Ton Salman “Hesitating at the doorstep — the impact of the global economic and financial crisis in Bolivia” Financial and economic crises as the one currently haunting us, inevitably affect the whole world — we are too interconnected for anyone to escape its impact. The way the crisis lands in various countries and regions, however, differs considerably. Take Bolivia. As a reminder: since early 2006 Bolivia is governed by its first indigenous president, Evo Morales. He attempts to pull through economic reforms, to strengthen the country’s sovereignty vis-à-vis external agents, and pursues reforms in favor of the Bolivian poor. …

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Polanski and the cultural defense

Pál Nyiri wrote a short post on the Roman Polanski  affair on the Culture Matters’ weblog, examining the use of cultural relativist arguments in court cases:   I was intrigued to find out from today’s New York Times (Michael Cieply, “In Polanski case, a time warp”) that a report by two probation officers who, in 1977, made a recommendation against a longer gaol term (as compared to the 48 days  he got) in Polanski’s case of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old, they made the argument that while foreign filmmakers “enrich[ed] the community with their presence, they have brought with them the manners …

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Anthropological art: Abre La Puerta

An announcement from “Anthropologists in Art” Blaton & Rypson (from WM Gallery): This Sunday, October 4th,  we present “Abre La Puerta” (“Open The Door”), an Art-Walkthrough of artist Jimmy Rage’s impressive creative output. The Art-Walkthrough is unique in form and a one?off event. As one of the artists portrayed in Sacha de Boer’s highly acclaimed exhibition “Retour New York/Amsterdam”, it is Jimmy Rage who will now be in the spotlight. The Art-Walkthrough will take place at Huize Frankendael — Amsterdam’s last ‘buitenhuis’, which provided sanctuary and creative inspiration for such artists as Cees Nooteboom, Harry Mulisch and Herman Koch, among …

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