In the meantime on the other side of the world…

By Marina de Regt     While we were all busy watching the US elections in the first week of November, an armed conflict broke out on the other side of the world, in the already turbulent and instable Horn of Africa. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his efforts to bring about peace between the almost 20-year stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea, ordered a military offensive in response to an attack launched by the TPLF (the Tigray People’s Liberation Front) on the national defence force. It resulted in hundreds of deaths amongst whom …

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Podcast # 2 is online! Guest: Aleeha Ali

In this episode, Puck de Boer talks with Aleeha Ali, who studied sociology in Pakistan, did a research master’s in anthropology in the UK and is currently a PhD candidate at the department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the VU. Topics include:-Aleeha’s research on digitization of religious mourning among Shi’a Muslims in Europe – even more relevant in times of Covid-19.-Her experiences in different educational systems.-The diversification of perspectives in a postcolonial anthropology.-What characterizes anthropology and how it relates to other disciplines.-Conducting (digital) ethnographic fieldwork during a pandemic. The close listener might notice a difference in the sound quality …

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On the Brink of a Pandemic; “World, jiāyóu”

BY JOP KOOPMAN The city of Wuhan, ground zero of the coronavirus, is 6 six days under lockdown when residents take to WeChat and start to suggest that they should chant uplifting phrases from their apartment windows to one and another. The participants decide that at 20:00 p.m. on the 28th of January the chanting commences. As planned, the participants take to the windows and start to chant: Wuhan, jiāyóu!” from apartment to apartment, to building to building, filling the air with words of solidarity. A sense of harmony that’s unique and powerful in times of crisis.  A video shot …

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Collecting waste in Sicily: old and new ways

BY FREEK COLOMBIJN Every human settlement has to think of a way to dispose its solid waste, but each place finds its own particular ways to do this. I was once again forced to think about this simple fact on holiday in Sicily. Two peculiarities of Sicily are its rugged terrain, with old fortified towns up in the hills, and the many tourists that visit the island who are perhaps more careless away than they would be at home. How does Sicily deal with these challenges? Castelbuono is a picturesque town with a medieval core, hundred kilometres from Palermo. The …

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Do not waste waste

DOOR FREEK COLOMBIJN It is a truism to state that the amount of solid waste produced daily is enormous. Mount Everest has become a symbol of just how widespread the waste problem has become. Mountaineers have left an estimated 50 tons of waste on its slopes, including bottles, food containers, broken equipment, even over two hundred dead bodies. In 2010 a party of climbers on a cleaning mission collected about 2 tons of solid waste in the area above 8,000 m. and these missions have been repeated regularly since then. Nowadays climbers are obliged by law to bring down 8 …

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Ton Salman: The anthropology of the future and the future of anthropology

BY TON SALMAN On Friday June 7th 2019 ABv once again organized the annual “Anthropology Day”. This time the overarching theme was “The anthropology of the future and the future of anthropology”, and the event took place at the “Volkenkundig Museum” in Leiden. Once again it was a huge success, with nearly 100 participants in the panels, seminars and workshops, with different papers, and a wonderful keynote by Professor Rebecca Bryant. As on earlier occasions, Ton Salman was asked to do a sort of epilogue, to pronounce some light “closing words”. Below is his brief speech.  Dear all, This time, …

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Bystander: On a migration experience

By Peter Versteeg A waiting room with benches and very bright light from a fluorescent tube. Clothes and shoes lying all around. There’s sand on the floor. I have to put my shoes in a closet and wait for the alarm to sound. The moment I sit down on a bench I realize I get impatient. And I think to myself: Ah okay, I know what this is. The refugee’s experience has a lot to do with waiting. Not exactly knowing what you are waiting for and why it takes so long. Okay, I understand what they try to get …

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Nederland houdt van gewoon

Door Irene Stengs. In het kader van ‘onderzoek om de hoek’ kom ik nog een keer terug op mijn veldwerkexcursie naar de Huishoudbeurs van afgelopen februari. In mijn vorige blog omschreef ik deze ‘grootste braderie van Nederland’ als een voor de antropoloog interessante event omdat de beurs in feite een geconcentreerde uitstalling is van allerlei vormen van alledaagse cultuur in Nederland. Veel zaken die in het dagelijks leven een rol spelen en juist door hun alledaagsheid nauwelijks opvallen worden op de Huishoudbeurs ‘uitvergroot, uitgelicht en op een voetstuk geplaatst’. Voor de meeste bezoekers spreekt de invulling en inrichting van de …

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Regen op een maandagochtend

Door Lysanne Vrooman         Op een maandagochtend in februari word ik wakker. Met de slaap nog in mijn ogen pak ik mijn telefoon om te kijken hoe laat het is. Ondanks dat het net acht uur is, zie ik veel notificaties van Facebook op mijn schermpje staan. De notificaties komen uit de Facebook-groep van de vrijwilligersassociatie (Baobab Experience) waarbij ik nu al zo’n zes weken meeloop en onderzoek doe in Rome. Ik lees de berichten en begrijp dat de politie is langs geweest bij het ‘kamp’ dat is opgezet voor de migranten om in te overnachten. De politie …

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